Has the U.S. recession bottomed?

Sometimes it's good to take the other side in an argument and see what you get. Since the consensus among economists is that the U.S. recession will last well into the second half of the year, it's interesting to consider whether a recovery has already started.

Now, investors may think it a bit of stretch, given the unknown status of major U.S. banks pending a stress test on their operations and identification of their toxic assets, to make the case that the worst may be over for the U.S. economy. Nevertheless, there is some empirical evidence and case precedent to suggest that the economy may have bottomed already.