I think we've entered a new perpetual upside phase similar to the phase between 2003-2007 where the stock market surged substantially higher with very little volatility and interruption. The assumption is that there will be an economic recovery in 2009-2010 and unemployment will peak around 8.5%. The recovery is anticipated to be jobless due to increased outsourcing/insourcing and technological progress. Jobless recoveries are actually better for the economy and stock market provided the govt. doesn't go overboard with unemployment benefits and welfare. The market is currently scurrying up a very, very, high wall of worry with a target of around 11,000 for the DOW short term. Every shred of bad news has been discounted. Auto and bank bailouts and huge stimulus are expected in 09, and rates will remain at 0% for a year or possibly longer. The era of easy credit, deregulation, deficit spending, prosperity, and consumer spending is far from over.