Stocks started the week at all-time highs, but the story on Monday was all about individual earnings. A lackluster release from McDonald's kicked off a busy week of reports, but it wasn't all bad news on the earnings front.
After the bell, Netflix surprised the street with a beat on both the top and bottom lines. Aided by strong domestic and international subscription growth, the streaming video service surged to new all-time highs in the after-hours session. CNBC's Julia Boorstin reported that Netflix CEO Reid Hastings saw unsettling shades of 10 years ago in the performance of his company's stock.
"Every time I read a story about Netflix as the highest-appreciating stock in the S&P 500, it worries me," he said. "That was the exact headline we used to see in 2003."
RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mark Mahaney joined the crew to weigh in on Netflix's strong quarter. "I think you can continue to be bullish," he said. Option Monster's Pete Najarian agreed, saying international growth is "only the tip of the iceberg."
(Watch video: I buy Netflix on this correction: Mark Mahaney)
Mahaney also said Netflix could charge more for its services in the future, leading to even bigger profits. "Over the next two or three years, we think they'll be able to show a package of higher price offerings," he said. "If they do that, margins go higher."
Solar stocks were another bright spot in Monday's mixed tape. First Solar flared higher after JPMorgan called the company one of its top picks in the clean-tech space.
"I'm long, and I'm not selling," said Ritholtz Wealth Management's Josh Brown.
(Read more: Bull market's got 10 to 15 years left: Technician)
Monday also saw crude oil trading below $100 a barrel for the first time since early July. According to Dennis Gartman, editor of The Gartman Letter, crude could fall another 15 percent in the coming months. "I have a sneaking suspicion we're going to go down and take a look and see how much $85 crude oil there is out there," he said.
On Tuesday, Netflix streamed back into the headlines as the stock fell on the back of a downgrade to sell from hold at S&P Capital IQ. But the big Netflix news of the day broke during "Fast Money," when billionaire investor Carl Icahn revealed on Twitter and in an SEC filing that he had sold roughly half his position in the company, netting a profit of about $826 million.
(Read more: Icahn: We may consider an Apple proxy fight)
Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso wondered how investors would react to the news but said he still liked Netflix. "At this point, you have the ability to buy a stock that may not be out of momentum."
But Josh Brown cautioned, "I never want to take the other side of Carl Icahn's trade."
The traders also discussed Apple's latest product announcements, including the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. "In the big context, this is very positive for Apple," said Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster.
Earnings remained in focus Wednesday as the S&P 500 pulled back from the previous day's all-time high. But according to Piper Jaffray Chief Technical Strategist Craig Johnson, the index could rise another 100 points by year-end.
"When stocks rise in the face of bad news, that's very, very bullish," he said, also pointing to a key bullish seasonality signal. "When you get a very strong September like we just saw this year … you set yourself up for a really strong Q4."
(Read more: S&P 500 to rise another 100 points: Johnson)
One stock that wasn't feeling so strong Wednesday was Caterpillar, which plunged on the back of disappointing earnings and guidance. Metropolitan Capital's Karen Finerman weighed in on the stock, saying "the income statement does not seem to be bulletproof."
The company has lost some credibility in its guidance because of a number of downward revisions to its earnings forecast, she said. "The beginning of this year they guided for $8.75 for this year, they are now at $5.50 for this year."
Amazon, Microsoft, Zynga and Deckers topped the list of after-hours movers Thursday, and a team of reporters brought the headlines from each company's earnings call. Amazon surged to new all-time highs after registering a beat on the top line, but Triogem Asset Management's Tim Seymour called the company's valuation "absurd," adding, "I wouldn't chase it after these numbers." Guy Adami agreed, saying, "If you want to foray into Amazon for the first time tomorrow, I think that's the wrong trade on the long side."
Colin Gillis, senior technology analyst at BGC Financial, called in to explain his hold rating and $280 price target on Amazon. "There's still a potential for them to lose money, even in the holiday quarter, their best quarter," he said.
Gillis also touched on Microsoft, which popped after hours on a strong earnings beat on the top and bottom lines for the fiscal first quarter. "The enterprise business is very resilient, it does have a lot of recurring revenue built into it," he said. But Gillis warned about future margins, particularly regarding Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business. "As they march more down the device path, these margins are more likely to decline," he added.
(Read more: Amazon stock difficult to trade here: Colin Gillis)
Thursday also brought more news out of Twitter, as the microblogging site announced an IPO range of $17 to $20 a share on 70 million shares, valuing the company at about $10.9 billion. PrivCo CEO Sam Hamadeh said the pricing was "far below fair valuation. … We think it's a very attractive and conservative valuation."
Traders Brian Kelly, Mike Khouw and Karen Finerman all agreed and said they would buy Twitter on the IPO. "It's like LinkedIn, where the users can monetize their experience," Kelly said. "You see a lot of businesses using this. I like Twitter."
Twitter's two-week road show begins Oct. 28, and the company is reportedly eyeing Nov. 15 for a potential IPO date.