Market Insider

Fueled by rising oil, stocks could take back highs

Stocks' driving force

Even with jitters about the worst earnings season in years, the stock market is in striking distance of its all-time high and could get there in the next few sessions, barring any real earnings debacles.

Oil surged Wednesday after a lower-than-expected build in U.S. inventories, giving a push to energy stocks. With rising oil at its back, the stock market bounded higher Wednesday, in the absence of any earnings bombshells and despite weak industrial production and Empire State data.

"That's the conundrum," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. So far, big names have not spooked the markets with dire warnings about dollar-related profit hits. "Everybody's waiting for the sucker punch."