The S&P 500 is up more than 5% this earnings off-season, which is the biggest off-season gain since mid-2007. Below is a chart of the S&P 500 with earnings seasons highlighted in green and off-seasons highlighted in red. The first earnings season on the chart was the Q1 '09 reporting period in which the S&P 500 gained 9.5%. The following off-season saw a flat market, and then the Q2 '09 reporting period saw another big gain of 15%. The market then continued higher throughout the next off-season, and then traded essentially flat during the Q3 '09 earnings season. We're heading into this earnings season on a high note for the market, so the question now is whether this batch of reports can propel stocks even higher or if we're due for some sideways action like we saw last reporting period. Stocks surely have a lot to live up to this time around, but don't they always?