Volatile reactions to news about the “fiscal cliff” can distract investors, but one reality has emerged since negotiations began in earnest Nov. 16: Markets believe the parties will strike a deal. …

But there is a Wall Street axiom for this type of environment: Don’t let intraday swings distract from the bigger trend. And at the moment, the trend for stocks appears to be up. …

So, after all that whipsaw trading, investors who managed to ignore their news terminals would be able to see that the underlying trend for stocks has been up and would be sitting on some nice gains: The Dow has risen 483.20 points, or 3.9%, in two weeks. Some analysts agree, too: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank this week both issued relatively bullish projections for stocks based on the assumption a deal comes to fruition.