Conventional wisdom says public companies release their earnings numbers before the bell if the news is good and after the bell if the news is bad. The former supposedly gives the market a reason to buy and the latter gives the market time to reconsider before possibly selling. But if that’s the case, why did IBM IBM -7.11% yesterday move what most of us now consider bad news (sales down and earnings down, too) from after the bell to before? To my view it can only be lunacy in the IBM executive suite. They had to have thought their spin machine could make bad news look good, but it doesn’t.