Today was the first trading day of the New Year and so far the Dow Jones is up over 120 points. Investors will be looking to Monday’s trading session as a better barometer of market sentiment for 2009 rather than today due to the low trading volume.

The market doesn't appear to be surprised at all that manufacturing activity fell more than expected in December, hitting the lowest reading in 28 years. Only three recessions in the history of the index have showed weaker manufacturing readings. Those recessions were in 1948 to 1949, 1973 to 1975 and 1980.

Economic data has been terrible for months, but recently investors have been holding their positions even as some readings fell well short of economists’ already low expectations. During past recessions the market has recovered ahead of the economy by ignoring negative data and looking for signs that the downturn isn’t worsening.

Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at BGC Partners in London, stated, “Markets will eventually respond to a view that the bottom will soon be reached in global asset value decline and that by the second half of the year global credit market activity should have begun to improve.