Offices and worksites are abuzz with NCAA college basketball talk as the tournament got off to a great start this week.  The event is characterized as “March Madness” or “March Mania” because of all the hoopla (no pun intended) and energy of 64 college and university fanatics converging on 14 American cities over the next three weeks.  Good luck if you have a pony in this race.

In nine of the last ten trading days the S&P 500 index has increased.  While two weeks is not a market trend, as the market is random in the short-term, it surely makes people feel better.  On the anecdotal side, my conversations with clients, friends, and business associates have unanimously confirmed a growing optimism about the economy.  Government statistics remain mixed, but are showing signs of improvement.