One of the broadest measures of the overall market is the S&P 500. It's a big basket of 500 stocks, compared to the Dow Jones Industrial average, with its 30 blue chips. The S&P has gotten a lot of people talking lately.
It has rallied for the past six weeks, and on Tuesday, hit its highest, intraday level in four years. But this market is in a very precarious spot. On one side, you have stocks rising because there's the belief that world governments are prepared to step in if economic conditions get too bad, including here in the US. Also, companies have been turning in profits that haven't been as bad as some expect. Not the greatest of reasons to buy stocks.
At the same time, trading volume hasn't been this low since September, 2007. Simply speaking, there aren't as many people investing nowadays. Financial experts are saying that Wall Street has virtually lost a generation of investors after the financial crisis.