In a huge turnout, 11 million Iraqis cast their ballots yesterday in their parliamentary elections, which, if the estimate holds, would put the overall turnout at more than 70%.  The main story was the lack of violence.  The Wall Street Journal notes that the election marks a significant milestone in Iraqi politics since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.  It is the first political event deemed legitimate by a large swath of Iraqis, including Sunni Arabs who had shunned the political process, the Journal notes.

The week has been an exciting one for stock investors as proof of a turn in the economy mounted.  Notably, in yesterday’s Congressional testimony, Mr. Greenspan said the economy is “already improving,” revising comments made before Congress just a week earlier.  Professionals on market trading floors say this rally represents real buyers, not just short-coverers.  Also encouraging is the fact that the rally is more orderly than previous ‘panic’ rallies where money managers feared being left behind and, consequently, over-inflated stock prices as they bought in at any cost.