It all depends on which direction the Fed choses to pursue, austerity or inflation. Consensus probably is there is more suffering involved with traveling the austerity path. Should the Fed choses QE3 and raising the debt ceiling in August then the market goes up. If QE progresses to a level accurately described as hyperinflation, then the market will reflect this with astronomical numbers, the dow up beyond your wildest dreams. Of course somewhere down the road of hyperinflation the monetary system will have to be replaced... Gold is a good place to be in both cases, but the path of austerity will bring about forced selling which makes the holding of gold stocks not as attractive as coins and bullion. Investors are in and out of shares easilly, where investments in the physical are not made for reasons of liquidity.