"So what's going to happen?"
That's the question on the minds of most investors following a major market move or economic event. Unfortunately, there's no answer ... just opinions and educated guesses.
We've selected a few of the more notable prognostications here to give readers a sense of how the experts are lining up on the current state of the US economy, the prospect of a double-dip recession, and the markets.
"The politicians are all useless individuals. Nobody is reducing the problems in the US or Europe, just putting on a band aid and postponing the problems endlessly... The Treasury market is telling you that the economy is in recession."
“America’s recent data have been lousy: there has been little job creation, weak growth and flat consumption and manufacturing production. Housing remains depressed. Consumer, business and investor confidence has been falling, and will now fall further.”
"OurGDP number on Friday was an indication that states and local governments, which make up 12 percent of GDP, are really pulling back," she added. "We’re certainly in a double dip on housing," which is putting "enormous pressure on the economy."
"It's very difficult to have a non-symmetrical double dip. In other words, the first dip is much bigger than the second... It can't be taken off the table."
"The simple fact is that the global economy is falling back into recession or indeed is already in recession... There are still some diehard happy clappies out there who think we are going to avert recession and the markets will recover, [but] US GDP growth has now fallen below the well known 2 percent stall speed."
"Granted, the economy is sputtering... But if there is a recession in the cards, it will be the first time one occurs when the yield curve is steeply positive (an ultra-easy Fed) and corporate profits are strong."
"I don't think that's likely, but... it depends on what governments and central banks do... In countries around the world, not just the United States, we have plenty of room to move and do things that would help make this economy stronger in the short term, and it's our responsibilty to do that."
“We do not believe the United States will be entering a recession anytime soon," based on declining gas prices, increased lending by banks to small businesses, and the temporary supply-chain impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan letting up.
"We're not looking at a recession yet but we're at a tipping point... in which corporate profits don't grow, jobs aren't created. Therefore, the economy sinks..."
“Financial markets create their own dynamics, but I don’t think we’re facing a double-dip recession... Clearly what stock markets do have is an effect on confidence, and this sell off can create a lack of confidence.”
"I don't see a double-dip, but I do see it slowing down." A double-dip recession "depends on Europe, not the United States... The United States was actually doing relatively well—sluggish, but going forward—until Italy ran into trouble."