Disappointing earnings news from Citigroup and Bank of America was also ignored. But that may not be the case Friday when General Electric, Morgan Stanley, Schlumberger, State Street, SunTrust Banks, McMoran Exploration, Parker Hannifin, Johnson Controls and Rockwell Collins report.
"We're at a new (S&P) high for the recovery. If it gets near 1500, there's also going to be something else in the background. You're having people process it, and look at their portfolios and wonder if they have enough in stocks," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management.
The S&P 500 rose 8 to a new five-year high of 1480, and the Dow was up 84, at 13,596, just short of a five-year high. The Nasdaq rose 18 to 2126.
The consumer discretionary and industrial sectors led the market higher. Whether it continues to rise Friday could depend on overnight data from China and Friday's earnings reports.
"It will probably depend on what comments we get from some of these big players coming up," said Paulsen.
Paulsen said the tone of CEOs when they discuss their outlook could be what determines whether the market continues higher, driving the S&P to the psychological 1500 mark.
"I don't think it will take a lot now unless there's some big time disappointment that sets in," he said. "It might just go up to 1500 and test it and see how the market takes it."
General Electric could be important Friday, since its businesses span multiple industries and the world. GE is a minority owner of NBC Universal, the parent of CNBC.
"Is there any other stock that's represents global GDP like GE?" said Paulsen. GE is expected to earn $0.43 per share for the fourth quarter on revenues of $38.7 billion.