Simply matching earnings expectations, not surpassing them, has driven the Standard and Poors 500 Index up 15% in the second quarter, Fortune reports. But investors are forgetting that year-over-year increases are not hard to meet, since earnings have been beaten down for nearly three quarters. Most analysts are expecting earnings of 5.4% for the average S&P 500 company and a hefty 12.7% increase in the second.
With all of the bad news of the past, investors are quite desperate for good news and better returns, Fortune reports. They seem to be swallowing any evidence that the market is in for a sustained upswing. When the Commerce Department reported that May factory orders were slightly above the 0.4% increase that was expected, for instance, the Dow shot up 102 points.