When it comes to the stock market and exchange traded funds (ETFs), is the glass half empty or half full?

Janice Revell for CNN Money asked big money brains for their take on the economy and the stock market for the coming year, and to rate their optimism from 1-10, with 1 being “apocalyptic” and ten as “no worries.” The economists came out empty while the market researchers were optimistic.

Economists such as Jared Bernstein and Mark Zandi for Moody’s were the lower scores at 3, claiming that, among other factors, a flat GDP, recession-like growth rates, and peaked unemployment by the end of 2008, perhaps around 8%, would cause a long pause for the economy at large.

Most economists do not expect a turnaround until 2010 or late 2009, because of tighter policy response, consumers trying to cut their debt and finding stability within the housing market, with home prices finally taking root.

The market prognosticators have their glasses half full as the potential and growth prospects for the stock market present themselves during this time period. Ed Yardeni believes in the world governments being effective and having their way, with an S&P rebound by mid-09.

Both Jerry Grantham and Barry Ritholz see the opportunity with the S&P 500, as it could drop below 900-1000, giving opportunity. Brian Wesbury is the most positive of all, giving a 9 and going the contrarian route, with fortunes to be made as everyone goes the opposite direction.

Where do you stand? Tell us in the comments!

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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