Of the companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, about two-thirds have gone on to beat estimates, which looks good on the surface. But that hasn't translated to gains on the market, with the S&P 500 down around 3% for the year. So what's going on?

2014 expectations may have gotten ahead of themselves for the market as a whole, but there are also some positives to point to. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) saw increased business spending, and its stock popped after earnings. General Electric (NYSE:GE) saw a 3% rise in revenue on strength in energy and aviation, two strong segments of the economy. And Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) sees an improving housing industry, even if a decline in mining sales is overshadowing that positive right now.

You wouldn't know it by looking at the broader market, but there are a lot of positives to be found when you dig into this earnings season's results. Erin Miller sat down with Fool contributor Travis Hoium to discuss what he's seen so far.

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Erin Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of General Electric. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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