It seems that Joe-the-Investor is finally listening to the contrarian arguments about downside risk; perhaps even some realization about the growing imbalance of weight favoring uncertainty on so many key mkt impacting considerations.
A broad bear market slide is more likely given the anemic US and global recovery, the continued squeeze on banking sector balance sheets for MTM (housing) investments, waning consumer confidence on jobs/spending/econ prospects, and likelihood of continued political head-butting everywhere.
Only surprise is the lag time for investors to get to act on these mkt ankle weights.
Similar to the "gradual recovery," I broadly expect a persistently grinding price downtrend, across the board, to levels achieved around Nov/Dec '10. We're not in a doomsday world, but the market got ahead of itself quickly last Sept/Oct. Reasonable reset levels off the liquidity fueled Winter 2010/11 bull run would seem to point to growth off the '09 floor but with a more gradual positive price slope.