Overall, earnings per share for the entire index have risen to $27.13, 1 percent higher than projections at the start of the season.
Companies that have beaten on both earnings and sales are outperforming the S&P 500 by 2.3 percentage points in the five days after reporting, BofAML said. Companies missing on both have under-performed by 5 percentage points in the five days after and by 8.4 percentage points since the beginning of earnings season.
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Conventional wisdom, though, that investors would focus more on sales than profits has not necessarily held up.
"Earnings may be more of a focus than sales, as performance spreads generated by earnings beats and misses have been more pronounced than those based on top-line surprises," Savita Subramanian, equity and quant strategist at BofAML, said in a note.
One telling factor about investor psychology is that earnings misses have been punished far more than beats have been rewarded, likely in reaction to a failure to beat such modest expectations.
Companies that have fallen short of the Street view have fallen an average 2.56 percent on their reporting day, Bespoke Investment Group said, while those that have beaten gained just 1.34 percent.
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One interesting bit of trivia: Information technology has shown a 6.1 percent decrease in earnings yet has the highest beat rate at 71.3 percent.
So while the market's path of least resistance has been clearly higher, a messy earnings season has given investors some discomfiting things to mull.
"Consumer discretionary and technology stocks that have missed estimates have gotten crushed," Bespoke said in a report. "Investors were clearly expecting a lot out of these sectors heading into earnings season, and companies that have not lived up to expectations have been taken to the woodshed."
—By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him @JeffCoxCNBCcom on Twitter.