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Bull market gets earnings boost

The stock market has certainly been rewarding bullish investors this year, and the third-quarter earnings reports have been adding their support: Since the start of the earnings season on Oct. 8, the S&P 500 has risen 6.5 per cent.

Admittedly, there is more going on here than just earnings. Washington ended the government shutdown that had been weighing on the market, providing some relief. And economists have been lowering expectations for the start of Federal Reserve tapering – seen as a done deal as recently as September – suggesting that full-on stimulus will continue through the end of the year, at least.