Except for Germany (and perhaps France) the rest of Europe is in a recession. All the central banks are pumping the money supply. Still not much growth. US growth in the second half of 2012 will likely be about 1.5%. We are still in a long term structural bear market that started in early 2000, and has several years more to run. The S&P is coming down a lot from current levels (over the next several years as BOTH EPS fall AND P/E's drop to around 10 = S&P drops to 750 or lower) as we somehow try to fix a broken conflict of interest Fed. The political system is an auction, not an election. Consumers are losing real purchasing power. In spite of all the negatives, the world will go on, and vaaluation levels will be key. At this point, let's hope BTU drops to $15, so we can buy more at a better valuation and then make a lot of money. I like RIO too. RIO in the high $20's and we will have super valuations there too. This process is going to take time, so quit thinking day to day and start thinking in terms of several years.
Its not coming to an end, but it is going to feel like it. Things that can't go on forever don't. The countries in Europe, the UK, the US, and Japan have enormous and fast growing public debt. To tax more, or spend less, has a slowing effect on growth. So the developed economies are in a "catch-22". If they cut spending they fall on their face. If they stay on the current path they fall on their face. Only one country in history has dug out from these debt levels, and that was England in the 1800's. But they had two little things help them. The ended the Napoleonic war and had the industrial revolution come along to help them out. Maybe from higher debt levels the developed world can recover without much pain, but I doubt it.
Then remember we have a multi-year sort things out process occurring in Japan, UK, US, and Europe. The developing world is going to help with world growth, but the large industrialized economies are going to have slow growth and high structural unemployment for a long time. The USA of Mexico probably.
I want to buy in in in lower 20's too. then hold it 6 months,,and double my money. My retirement funds are surely going into coal stocks when the time is right (with in next feew weeks) maybe then hold till the winter is the strategy. I will win after all.