Mark Gongloff is one of the best market writers in the biz.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The recent stock-market rally is turning heads. Why, there hasn't been anything like it since at least...November.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has bounced 22.5% in 19 trading days, the best such stretch since 1938. The broader S&P 500 has jumped 24.5% during that time.
Amid the cheer it is easy to forget that the short-lived bounce off the market's November 2008 bottom was nearly as strong as this one. Until this past Thursday, November's rally was bigger, with the S&P 500 up 21% in 17 days, compared with 20% for the current bounce. The earlier surge carried through to early January, but then fell off a cliff to hit 12-year lows.
Why might this time be different?
For one thing, the November rally was based on flimsier stuff. It was sparked by the announcement that Timothy Geithner would be then-President-elect Barack Obama's Treasury secretary, a choice that pleased Wall Street, at least for a while. It was helped along by other government actions, including a massive Citigroup bailout and talks about keeping auto makers from bankruptcy. The government's approaches to those problems are dramatically different now....MORE