Ironically, the shift in sentiment was triggered partly by Friday's better-than-expected employment report, which served a dual purpose: it reinforced the notion that the job market is still tight but raised fears that the Fed could start raising interest rates again.
The rising dollar has sent both stocks and commodities lower. And analysts see stronger signs that investors are moving away from those more risky investments and into the safety of the dollar and US Treasurys.
"There is this market focus slowly shifting potentially to see more risk down the road, and markets are getting thinner towards year's end," says Bryan Rich, currency analyst for Money and Markets and a dollar bull. "For markets in general this whole risk trade has been so highly correlated that when you get a pullback that tends to affect everything."
Signs over the past few days that there could be significant troubles in the global economy have added to the dollar's appeal after six months of decline for the greenback.
Standard & Poor's issued a stern warning about Greece's debt, while Moody's countered with its own cautions that the US and UK also could lose their triple-A status should their economic houses remain in disarray.
Additionally, analysts warned about the reorganization plan for Dubai World, a credit crisis of its own that sparked global worries during the Thanksgiving holiday week.
Such uncertainty tends to push investors to search for safe spots to park their money, and the dollar would be one popular alternative.
"There's a safety trade involved when people get more fearful of the economic trends, and the dollar gains strength," says Rodney Johnson, portfolio manager of the Dent Tactical Fund ETF. "It has nothing to do with how they're treated. This is a better idea than putting it to work."
The Dent ETF is an actively managed fund whose biggest holding is the SPDR Barclays 1- to 3-month Treasury bill ETF.
Johnson said the dollar play will work now for investors even if the turnaround is more aggressive than consensus estimates. A stronger recovery, he says, will incite the Fed to raise rates, which also will help the greenback.
But he's in the camp of those who see the dollar gaining as a safe haven against weakness.