I think that this will be the story for the rest of the year. If things calm down on the headline front, stocks will trade higher. There are still some attractive companies and prices are very attractive on many names. But, I've also mentioned the risks. The media is determined to use the fear of a bear market to promote their headlines. Its important that as investors we understand what the actual risks are, and there are some, and what is just hot air (a lot of that).
I believe in a "reversion to the mean" somewhat, and I think that it will happen to oil prices in the short term (3-6 months). This means we will see some drop in oil prices, and at least some stabilization. This will help stocks, at least from a psychological standpoint. And that is where the danger lies. We've traded so much lower because of fear. A lot of economic data is relatively solid. Inflation is what concerns me the most. I know that those numbers are manipulated somewhat. Any inflation index that doesn't included food and energy is worthless if you asked me. Just look around and see what things that you buy are costing you? Food specifically. The governments insistence upon promoting ethanol has hurt us here. The cost of all the raw food has gone way up hurting restaurants, grocers, and consumers. They don't like to use food and energy for these numbers, but they'll gladly use cars and other items that stay relatively cheap because of immense price competition? Doesn't add up if you asked me.
Anyway, this may be a little bit of a rant, but that is where I see things for now. I'm remaining cautiously optimistic.
Hope everyone has a nice weekend!