Summertime, and the Investing Is Easy

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NEW YORK: With a 140-point rally on Tuesday, the Dow pushed past 9200 and into record territory, joining last week's record-setters, the NASDAQ and the Standard & Poor's 500. And the reason seems to be as simple as "no news is good news." "The big companies have all been issuing warnings when they have bad earnings news, and the blue chips with reports due over the next week -- Intel after the bell Tuesday, Ford on Wednesday, Microsoft Thursday, Gillette, Time Warner -- have all been quiet," says FORTUNE writer Nelson Schwartz. "So the mood is very optimistic."

This earnings season was supposed to be when the Asian crisis finally hit home. But the big names have continued to be great bets. "So far they've been dodging the bullet, and it's been a very pleasant surprise," says Schwartz. "So they're where all the money is going. And they're the ones that move the indexes." The markets have gone on autopilot and they're climbing nicely -- but fasten your seat belt just in case.