SIGNS OF LIFE

Worst Over... Maybe

Banks and retail outlets are starting to generate some cause for hope among investors and markets are in rally mode as a result, but given the last few months, everyone is going to be looking over their shoulder for some time. "I think this is all setting us up for a new low," the chief U.S. equity strategist at JPMorgan Chase, told The New York Times "It's not like I'm praying for it to happen, but it's pretty much expected." On Thursday, stocks surged after Wells Fargo, one of the country's top banks, reported record profits, and the market has gained for five straight weeks. All of this is little comfort to those losing their jobs—unemployment, now 8.5%, has yet to turn around and some experts are predicting it to leap to over 10% by year's end. While not promising a quick recovery, Obama advisor Larry Summers recently predicted that the economy would at least not be in "free fall" a few months from now.