FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
With the first few days of spring, there seems to be some sparks of hope on the economic front. A new Gallup poll shows optimism about the economy is at a 20 month high. Although it's still relatively low - with only 27 percent of Americans saying the economy is getting better, and 67 percent saying it's getting worse - that's better than anything we've seen since July 2007. The groups with the biggest increase in optimism include Republicans and people making $90,000 or more.
Another silver lining the last few weeks has been the stock market. The Dow was up almost 500 points yesterday, and the S&P 500 is coming off its biggest two week gain since 1938. One investor tells Bloomberg News that a new bull market has begun, and "you have to be careful not to miss the opportunity." Another strategist calls it a "helluva rally."
There's more: Existing home sales showed an unexpected increase in February; seen by some as a sign that the real estate market may be bottoming. The average price was down more than 15 percent from the year before - but economists are hopeful the bargain hunters will start to be lured in.
If the housing market bottoms out and the Treasury plan to get credit flowing at major banks again works, we might start to see the beginning of something good. That would mean small businesses could get loans. Mortgages would become more available and maybe Americans who had been holding off will finally walk into that car dealership and plunk down a few dollars for a new ride.
Here’s my question to you: Are you feeling more optimistic about the economy these days?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jack, I'm cautiously optimistic about the economy. I believe it is just teetering and could go either way. Just a small jump in home sales and a little creep up of the market don’t mean much these days.
Steve from Vernon Hills, Illinois writes:
Sold some stuff on eBay, had a good job interview, stocks went up 500 points - all on a Monday? How could one not feel better?
Jason from Koloa, Hawaii writes:
I can tell from the massive hordes of irritating tourists in the grocery store by my house that the economy must not be as bad as the media is saying.
The stock market appears to have bottomed out and is now hovering in and around the same numbers. The housing market experienced a boom in comparison to what it was just three months ago. No massive layoffs have been announced so far this month like in the past two months. I'm feeling optimistic that we'll finally see a turnaround by the end of the year.
Jeff from Minnesota writes:
Don't get ahead of yourself, Jack. While the market is up for now, it's likely to be a yo-yo until all of the bad news and all of our dirty laundry gets aired out and companies begin reporting their lousy financial results. I think there are still some surprises out there that will catch people for at least the next year.
Anthony from Swedesboro, New Jersey writes:
I'm feeling more confident that we dodged a depression by this administration's swift and apparently successful initial strategies.
Josh from Chicago writes:
Hi Jack. I'll start feeling more optimistic about the economy when I get a job.