I believe the stock market is rising in value
because of inflation, not because of real value added. So it looks good on the press releases, but doesn't mean diddly to the stiff looking for a job. I'm one of the lucky ones who got hired for an IT position at the beginning of January. Temp to perm on for a contracting agency, should be a perm in three months.
At best the economy will remain stagnant for the rest of the year. Taxes are going up so industry investment will go down. Furthermore, I've been reading a bit from banking insiders the last couple of days. While the official numbers on foreclosures are holding steady, they aren't real. The US foreclosure process is a long one, and in normal times it takes about 9 months for a bank to process one. So again, in normal times they pretty much start the clock on them as soon as possible because of the lag time. But with the bottom falling out of the home market, the banks have stopped doing that. Which means that when the economy does start to pickup, they are going to either keep the foreclosure pipe where it is, or open it bigger to try to flush out their non-performing loans. Not pretty no matter how you look at it.