But will third-quarter results be enough to drive the S&P 500 higher? Or will Europe’s woes get in the way?
The unofficial start of earnings season begins tomorrow, when Dow component Alcoa reports third-quarter results after the close of trading.
The earnings and guidance that may follow could give investors some clues on the health of the global economy, including any impact the Eurozone debt crisis has had and might continue to have on profits.
But even if earnings paint a rosier picture than expected, stocks may face a stiff test in climbing much further, as analysts pointed to the declining 50-day moving average as a key resistance point that could limit gains. That level now sits around 1,178.
This week’s sharp gains were built on improved hopes that European officials will get a handle on the Euro-zone debt crisis.
“For the next three weeks, in this country, earnings will be the focus and the subplot is going to be Europe – Europe is always going to be just under the surface,” said Ken Polcari, managing director at ICAP Equities in New York.
“But if all of a sudden in the middle of the week, some catastrophe happens in Europe, the focus is immediately going to be headline driven and goes back to Europe.”
Other companies expected to post quarterly results this week include PepsiCo, tech giant Google, JPMorgan Chase & Co and toy maker Mattel.