http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/264451

Happy New Year? Markets Close Above 9000 for First Time Since Nov

Posted Jan 3, 2009 by Jason Li
For the first time since Nov. 5, Wall Street closed above the 9000 point mark. This after Wall Street's biggest crash after 1931.
New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
Photo by DigitalJournal.com
Wall Street is barely peeking above the 9000-point wall, at 9,034.69, after Friday's close.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.9 percent and Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed at a two month high of 931.80. Nasdaq also closed with a 3.5 percent increase to finish at 1,632.21.
But after a combined 384 point increase for the Dow on Tuesday and Wednesday, some are hopeful that 2009 won't be as devastating as pundits predict.
According to IHT's report:
"You're going to have to call this a trading rally that's part of the larger bear market complex," said William Rhodes, chief investment strategist of Rhodes Analytics. "At least it's a good way to start out."
Friday's surge happened despite a grim economic report on manufacturing, which continued to decline rapidly in Dec.
Many though, are hoping that the Wall Street adage -"as goes January, so goes the year"- holds true. Some believe that the last five days of the previous year and the current year's first five are the best indicator.
But academics also said that such sayings have no economic backing. Some experts offered an explanation of the phenomenon:
investors often make annual contributions to individual retirement accounts at the start of the year and mutual fund managers sell poorly performing stocks in December to "pretty up" their year-end statements and reinvest the money early in the new year.
Markets in the rest of the world also rose, despite light trading.