A light at the end of the tunnel?

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Yesterday's massive market rally may appear to be a light at the end of the recession tunnel, but it remains to be seen whether it is an exit or an oncoming train.

DMNews' News Editor Nancy Kearney and I often joke about the market's tribulations over the course of the day, as if we can control it or even know what it truly means. Nevertheless, if the sense of optimism that flowed over the financial world yesterday spread to some consumers, it's good news for marketers who have been wondering for some time if we may have seen the end of traditional retail consumption.

Confidence is the watchword right now. Rising confidence in banks, whose failures are at the heart of this crisis, should spread to consumers, many of whom (like me and Nancy) have become amateur economists since the crisis started. And, after so many months of bad news — this article appeared on our front page just one month after I joined the DMNews staff nearly two years ago — any good news is likely to elicit overreactions, so it's neither accurate nor responsible to say that the crisis has ended simply because of one rally. But it's the confidence that spurred that rally that leads to, well, a sliver of confidence in this casual observer that we may have seen the worst of this pass.
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