Companies as diverse as Caterpillar, Merck and Coca-Cola reported quarterly profit that beat analyst estimates. Does this signify an embryonic bull market at last?
Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services, offered CNBC his stock-market insights.
Cashin reiterated his skepticism about the spate of stronger earnings:
"There's a mild thread of disappointment in them. Revenues seem to be coming up short."
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He pointed out that corporate cost-cutting, in lieu of expanding revenue, has an inherent endpoint:
"That's a game that has to come to an end."
But he believes investors should consider simultaneously the many forces driving stocks this week besides earnings.
"The market's working on its own internal technicals, so this is kind of a critical week."
"You've got Bernanke*, earnings, a solar eclipse," Cashin joked. "A lot of things converging in this week."
More Art Cashin:
And what if the Dow closes up again today — making seven positive days in a row? That's good, but not good enough to spell a secure bull market trend, said Cashin.
"We've got to get past Thursday," he declared.
Watch the video for more Earnings Season background.
*Ben Bernanke is testifying this week before the US House Finance Committee.
CNBC's Companies in the News:
Bank of America
Disclosure information was not available for Cashin or his company.