Thanks, Uncle Alan

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WASHINGTON: Wasn't this supposed to be a bear market? After flirting with new lows of 7,400 just two weeks ago, the Dow has gone on something of a tear -- four straight sessions in the black, with a fifth on the way Tuesday as the index floated near plus-150 at midday. Banks -- hardly the sunniest sector around -- are even talking about merging. And earnings reports this "Super Tuesday" -- featuring many of the markets' big names -- haven't been nearly as bad as expected. Suddenly Wall Street is feeling flush again.

Thank Alan Greenspan and his surprise rate cut Thursday. "Traders are already looking forward to another rate cut in November," says TIME senior economics reporter Bernard Baumohl. "He's given Wall Street the feeling that he's involved and on top of the economic situation. And they have every confidence in him." Wonder if Colin Powell has any room on that dream 2000 ticket.