How psychology is driving the economic rebound


Earlier this year, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert interviewed Jim Cramer about market psychology against a video background of puppies and kittens. Did it help the market rebound from its March lows? Who knows? But investors are sure feeling better about themselves.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange's Volatility Index (VIX), the so-called "Fear Index," has fallen this year as stock prices have rallied. It dropped recently to 22.19, down from a record high of 80.86 in November 2008, though it remains above its 20.28 average over its 19-year history, according to Bloomberg News. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has jumped 27 percent over the past six months.