Did the Dow really poke its head above 8,000 on Thursday? Remember when worrywarts were predicting the Dow would plunge below 5,000 just last month?

April certainly feels better after March washed away the nasty aftertaste of the dreadful first two months of the year. But don't break out the pompoms just yet. We're still not out of the woods.

  • Auto sales fell by a bruising 37% in March.
  • The National Retail Federation is expecting a 13.6% slide in Easter sales per shopper this season.
  • Companies like Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE:IR) and Oxford Industries (NYSE:OXM) are slashing their dividends.
  • Jay Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears.

That last point may not be very material to your portfolio, but it's really going to disrupt my fantasy football league.

I don't mind a few clouds in the sky. I would hate to be a Wall Street Pollyanna. However, it would be nice to see the good news continue as we enter the very tricky earnings season this month.

Briefly in the news
Let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Changyou (NASDAQ:CYOU) went public at $16 and popped 38% higher at the open. The market has only given us two IPOs this year, so at least we can enjoy them.
  • General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) are now offering unemployment protection for buyers, making auto loan payments on new purchases for several months if someone is laid off from work through no fault of their own. I wonder if they're offering this to their own employees in vulnerable plant cities?
  • Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) introduced its Nehalem server chips this week, self-billed as the "most revolutionary server processors since targeting the market with the Pentium Pro processor nearly 15 years ago." No pressure, though.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. The Fool owns shares and covered calls of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield-wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.