If you look at the performance of the stock market in recent weeks, you'll see some good days and even good weeks - followed by not-so-good days and rough weeks.
But if you look beyond these volatile numbers, you might see a story that offers some encouragement for investors in the not-too-distant future.
Specifically, you'll want to pay attention to these factors:
Efforts to stabilize the financial system
Just a few months ago, the government did not intercede to prevent the failure of Lehman Brothers and other financial services giants. In recent weeks, though, we've seen the U.S. Treasury provide massive support to Citigroup and other major banks. These efforts should contribute to increased stability in our financial system.
Actions to increase flow of credit
The Federal Reserve has acted aggressively to free up the flow of credit to consumers and businesses. As a result of the Fed's moves, inter-bank lending costs have dropped dramatically and we've seen an increase in the issuance of commercial paper, which are unsecured obligations issued by corporations or banks to finance their short-term credit needs.