Stocks surge amid rosy prospects for 2009

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The first day of Wall Street trading in 2009 saw a stock surge Friday, as many investors were taking risks in hopes that the financial situation would improve in the coming months.

Still, according to financial expert Jordan Goodman, of Scarsdale, it will not be easy to get the economy back on track after a sharp increase in unemployment and a plunge in consumer spending and interest rates.

"The economy is still weak, but [it] looks like we're getting the year off to a relatively positive start," he says.

According to Goodman, much of the recent optimism among investors is associated with the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, and the expectation that once in office, he will put forward stimulus programs that will boost the sagging economy.

Goodman believes some of that money will be pumped into Westchester and Rockland counties? infrastructure, but he adds that with the recent layoffs on Wall Street, it may prove tough for many people who lost their jobs in 2008 to make ends meet.

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