Is Santa already getting his sleigh ready to visit the markets?
Stocks enjoyed their biggest monthly gain in four years during October. And the outlook for the rest of the year looks pretty good, too.
The 8% surge in the S&P 500, however, was mostly due to the fact that nothing really bad happened during October.
"It's not so much positive news as a growing erosion of negative news. There's been a lot of worry baked into the market," Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, told TheStreet.
But with worries about the global economy easing, there is a good chance that the traditional year-end Santa Claus rally could come early this year.
"The likelihood of positive surprises is greater than negative surprises and I think the path of least resistance is up at the moment," said McMillan.
Besides the S&P 500, the other market indicators had a good month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 8.5%, while the Nasdaq rose 9.4%.
Helping the market feel better were the central banks of Europe and China. China continues to cut interest rates and take other measures to stimulate its slowing economy. And Europe is already talking about extending its stimulus measures beyond their expiration next year.
On the opposite end, the Federal Reserve continued to hold off on raising interest rates. At the same time, the U.S. central bank expressed optimism that the recently slowdown in the economy was temporary and that fundamentals remain strong.
They're "more positive about the economy in this statement than they were in the last one," McMillan said in reference to the Fed's October release. "This Fed, the nervous nervous Nellie of central banks is looking at the economy and they're not that worried about it."
Crude oil boosted markets, too, appearing to stabilize in the mid-$40s after months of yo-yoing prices.West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed 1.2% higher to $46.59 a barrel on Friday, and was up 4.5% for the week and 3.3% for the month.
Finally, S&P 500 companies may be facing an earnings recession with back-to-back months of lower profits, but the majority of those that have reported have beaten forecasts. Just over two-thirds of companies have reported third quarter earnings with 67% of those exceeding estimates, a nudge above the historical average.
High-profile, high-momentum tech stocks including Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) , Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) , and Apple (AAPL - Get Report) have blown past estimates, fueling positive sentiment for the earnings season in its entirety.
"It's not so much that things are going great [now], It's that things are going much better than expected" McMillan continued. "People are looking at that and saying, 'The economy is growing, companies are doing OK, the risk factors are going away. We have to get back into the market'."
There still are a number of market-movers yet to report their third quarter. Next week, 100 companies are scheduled to report, including Disney (DIS - Get Report) , Facebook (FB - Get Report) , FitBit (FITB - Get Report) , and Cigna (CI - Get Report) .