Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bloomberg's Tracy Alloway noted Tuesday, the country saw "mass social unrest, continued culture wars, the prospect of martial law, a curfew in the world's biggest financial center, and the looting of a retail icon. So naturally, futures are up."

Between the lines: She didn't even mention that the number of new coronavirus cases worldwide is now rising at a record rate of more than 100,000 per day.

Why it matters: Sometimes, in the markets, bad news is good news. In this case, corporate America seems to be acting rather like one of those improbable Hollywood action heroes: No matter how large and how terrible the perils thrown in its way, the result never seems to be much more than a flesh wound.

By the numbers: The S&P 500's net profit margin was a robust 10.5% in the first quarter of 2020, despite a large part of the economy being shut down by the novel coronavirus.

  • The S&P 500 is expected to earn $126 per share this year. That's more than it earned in any year up to and including 2016. Next year, FactSet estimates that the 500 companies will earn a record $162 per share.

The big picture: The real economy is terrible, with GDP plunging and unemployment reaching Depression-era levels. If corporate earnings can survive all this and a historic bout of social unrest, investors can be forgiven for thinking that they can probably survive anything.

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2020 - Technology

Amazon earnings blow past Wall Street expectations

Photo illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Amazon smashed top- and bottom-line analyst expectations in the second quarter, sending shares climbing in after-hours trading Thursday.

The big picture: The earnings report suggests Amazon's growth and dominance are only expanding, just as calls to rein in the company rise from Washington.

Updated 6 mins ago - World

Beirut explosion: Death toll rises to 135, officials under house arrest

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

The death toll from Tuesday's explosion in Beirut, Lebanon has now surpassed 130, including at least one U.S. citizen, amid a search for answers as to why a huge store of ammonium nitrate was left unsecured near the city's port for nearly seven years.

What we know: The government says around 5,000 people are injured. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said current indications are that the massive explosion was accidental, despite President Trump's puzzling claim on Tuesday evening that it appeared to be a bomb attack.

Exclusive: Trump campaign seeks early September presidential debate

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Image

The Trump campaign is asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to move up the last presidential debate to the first week in September to get ahead of an expected surge in early voting.

Driving the news: President Trump's personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, made the request in a letter dated Wednesday and obtained by Axios.