The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials tallied record finishes on Tuesday after Alcoa (AA) kicked off earnings season in a positive fashion and as investors took comfort in easing global economic concerns.
"The market is trading on trend, the trend being things are getting better," Jim Russell, principal and portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel, told CBS MoneyWatch. "We've gotten nice announcements regarding geopolitical clarity," Russell added, pointing to the reelection of Japan's pro-stimulus prime minister and a quick transition of power in the U.K. with Theresa May set to replace David Cameron as prime minister.
The June jobs report, which surprised to the upside, also helped brighten investor sentiment.
"The stock market was very encouraged by the nonfarm payroll results last Friday," said Russell. "The market has been starved for good economic news from a major economic entity like the United States."
Recent reports on manufacturing and the service sector also indicated a positive trend, with U.S. economic growth expected to be "meaningfully higher in the second quarter than the first," said Russell, pointing to projections of 2.4 percent growth in the second quarter following GDP of only 1.1 percent in the first three months of the year.
Alcoa gained more than 5 percent after the aluminum producer posted a smaller-than-expected decline in quarterly profit.
"If estimates are correct, year-over-year earnings growth for S&P 500 returns to a positive trajatory in the third quarter of this year," Russell said.
Less clear is whether corporate profits rebounded in the April-to-June period afterfour straight quarters of sagging earnings. According to FactSet data, analysts expect S&P 500 earnings for the quarter to decline 5.6 percent from the year-ago period.
Market watchers are also watching for any signs that the U.K.'s vote last month to exit the European Union could hurt U.S. companies that operate overseas.