The European crisis is still a concern although it has been ignored for a while as the market (^DJI) climbed to $13,661.90 breaking a major point of resistance in September. Traders who had the chutzpah to short the market seeing it hit a 5 year high were rewarded quickly. There may be more downside in the coming days and a sell off which investors have been waiting for to get in. The fiscal cliff is a concern that can take the U.S. economy back into recession early next year if politicians do not make a deal that would evade the high tax hikes.
Some strategist have been recommending small cap companies on the Russell 2000 as they represent domestic companies and have more upside during the next few years despite global concerns. If traders believe that the economy will improve and that the market will not drop below 13000 they can start buying stock as soon as the release of corporate earnings when they will get a feel of the sentiment building up for stocks. Whichever way the market starts moving in the coming weeks getting in by increments if at all is the best way to go. A lot of people are still in cash for the time being, they are right to be weary specially when they have experienced large losses in a relatively short time period. Not all the latest news are bad the consumer sentiment report released last Friday shows a surge, consumer sentiment rose to 83.1. The jobless claims report last Thursday saw a 30k drop which is a big improvement but will still need to be confirmed by reports in the coming weeks. In the end it all comes down to timing risk correctly that's what separates the winners from the losers.