CKMcLeod, the first positive signs happened today — 1% gain in consumer spending and decrease in the rate of new unemployment claims.
Swampfox, while I agree that markets behave irrationally at times, since what human institution doesn’t, I’d also like to point out that it is quite rational to be “afraid” of things like the huge government spending bill and the speeches attacking business and promising caps on executive salaries, etc. This isn’t fear that is causing people to misperceive the real value of their assets and the future value of their enterprises, it is rational understanding that new factors might be introduced that will affect them negatively.
In other words, markets respond to Obama as an actor in the drama who plans to take measures based on his views, rather than as an observer. Insofar as his dire language suggests drastic measures of a certain kind, the market response has been quite rational.