We've been through a period of very low confidence: consumer confidence, CEO confidence. And there's nothing like a slightly better economy, a slightly better stock market to argue that confidence will beget more confidence. CEOs are never more confident than when their stock price is going up.
They will be more willing to do some positive things with the $2 trillion-plus in excess cash sitting on their balance sheets: raise their dividend; buy back their stock; engage in M&A; re-invest in their business; hire a worker or two; or maybe put up a new plant. I think that's what's in front of us.
~Bob Doll, chief equity strategist, BlackRock, "Experts agree: Get over your fear and get back into stocks", USA Today, December 17th, 2010