If you're wondering if it's safe to put some new money to work in the stock market, the first question you have to ask is: How much fear is already priced in?
I put that question to several hedge-fund managers, traders, sales traders, analysts and day traders I know.
The collective sentiment could be summed up in two words: cautiously optimistic.
This, personally, scares me. Most finance professionals seem to think there was some capitulation (a feeling of maximum pessimism where people can't take it anymore and panic sell) last week, which usually signals the end of the pain trade. But I'm not sure we saw enough of it.