Can it last?

The stock market opened the trading year with a huge gain on Friday sparking hopes that a New Year rally will propel stock higher.  Indeed, Friday's gain was a sharp departure from the first trading day of 2008 which witnessed a big decline and set the tone for  a horrible year.  Still, I am very doubtful that the rally can be sustained.  Lots of economic news will be released this week and it's not expected to be good.  The recession is still very much front and center and in particular, unemployment is likely to increase dramatically in the weeks and months ahead.  On the other hand the prospect of a new administration in Washington that actually may know what it's doing will provide optimism for investors.  If the market can advance today that will be a good sign since volume was light on Friday when many traders were still away for the holidays. 

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