Stocks Buck Trend Of Sluggish Economy

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 6, 2010 Updated Oct 6, 2010 at 5:44 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The economy may not be hitting on all cylinders yet, but the stock market is on an upswing of late.

So why are investors returning with renewed vigor?

Tim Rooney with investment firm Stifel Nicolaus says part of it is the fear factor of losing money in the market may be calming down a bit, even though the state of the overall economy is still confusing and unsettling.

On July 6th, exactly three months ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9,743.

October 6th, the Dow finished above 10,960, after topping the 11,000 mark for a short time in the morning.

Stocks were not dragged down much by two reports out on Wednesday that showed continued weakness in the job market.

25 million Americans remain unemployed or underemployed.

But Tim Rooney says investors are clearly getting more active again.

Tim Rooney/Stifel Nicolaus: " That's been the problem with this market is there hasn't been much volume. The retail investor has been to the sideline, so, I think one of the positives to take from this, is you're starting to get some of the retail investors to come back in the game of stocks."

There may be several reasons for optimism gaining a foothold with investors.

A new ABC/Washington Times Poll shows almost one-third of Americans now feel the economy is improving, up seven points from one month ago.

Also, Rooney says, though employment is not necessarily improving, companies are sitting on piles of cash, which can make investors feel more at ease about risking their money in the market.

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