Only one week ago, market participants were wondering if Citigroup ( C) and General Motors ( GM) would be forced into bankruptcy. Now, bulls have carried a four-day winning streak -- one that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rally 10% -- into the weekend, and they're hoping that more good fortune will be in the cards during the coming week. How exactly did the market go from bankruptcy watch to rally mode? Credit good news from three financial institutions, namely Citigroup, Bank of America ( BAC), and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM).
Mark-to-Market, Uptick Rule
Word that the so-called uptick rule could be reinstated as well as potential forthcoming changes to mark-to-market accounting rules were also a boon for the bulls. "The market was oversold, and we had seller exhaustion," said Michael Pento, chief economist with Delta Global Advisors. "We had a few good statements from the banking sector, and, of course, the red herring called mark-to-market and word it could be repealed gave us a nice rally." James Paulsen, chief investment strategist with Wells Capital Management, offers a much sunnier outlook, arguing that bulls have now firmly seized control and that the market can only go up. "This thing is bottoming, and the next big move is up," he said. "Whether that's going to be now or months from now, it'll be well worth the wait. Yes, we fell below the November lows, but that's really when the bottoming process started, and we've hung in there. Commodities and bond spreads held up. Whether the bottoming process is going to continue for much longer remains to be seen."