The stock market rallies (but few feel richer)
The stock market rallies (but few feel richer)

Despite high unemployment and a housing market still in disarray, it appears the stock market has powered through every potential obstacle as earnings by America's biggest corporations surge. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now at its highest level in three years, and the S&P 500 has rallied 30% from last year's low.

But most Americans have yet to feel the growing wealth of the stock market as they continue to face a terribly tough job market. The market's rally has mainly been based on the underlying assumption that the economic recovery would gain momentum in 2011, helping boost job growth from last year's anemic levels. But it's unclear how consumers will take higher prices at the pumps as crude oil prices hover to more than $100 a barrel. What's more, many fear that the market's bullish path could come to an end in June, when the Fed is expected to end its bond-purchasing program (QE2).

Last updated May 31 2011: 11:33 AM ET

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