By Randy Cass
The conventional wisdom is that March 9 was the turning point in this market—the moment when everything righted itself and a seven-month rally emerged seemingly out of thin air. But the truth is, the moment of change happened at the end of February, not the second week of March.
We know this because it was during that last week of February when our data, which tracks the tone of conversations going on among the major players of Wall Street, isolated a positive turn in sentiment that had been missing for more than half a year.
Citigroup's stock didn't jump 23.8% on March 10 because it was more confident about its financial position; it jumped because two weeks earlier market players had decided to look for any data that would allow them to demonstrate renewed bullishness.
After a few months of hyperbolic returns, there was a...