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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in April 2010. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

All it took for Asian markets to recover were these words, uttered by Fed Chair Ben Bernanke: "My best guess is that we'll have a continued recovery, but it won't feel terrific"

Bernanke Forecasts a Fitful Recovery (N.Y. Times)

That wouldn't necessarily inspire confidence to most, so maybe it was the fact that stocks may be getting cheap enough to consider nibbling.

Bulls are saying that based on the forward P/E multiple of the S&P 500, stocks haven't been this cheap since the March 2009 lows. But there continue to be worries that European debt issues will slow down the world economic recovery. If that were to occur, then prices could go lower.

Futures markets are pointing marginally higher, despite a trifecta of negative news out of the financial sector, which included:

(1) The FCIC subpoenaed Goldman for documents;

(2) Bank of America was whacked with a $108 million fine to compensate homeowners who were overcharged fees by Countrywide mortgage (Bank of America acquired Countrywide in July 2008); and

(3) Morgan Stanley announced that it would shutter 300 retail offices and lay off as many as 1,200 people — that's what they meant when they talked about the synergies between Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney brokerage units.


Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.