Some major companies are slowly becoming optimistic about the economy again, the Wall Street Journal reports. Delta Airlines says seat sales are almost at the level they were a year ago and United Technologies says its decline in orders is stabilizing. Intel is among the most upbeat, saying "the worst is now behind us" and no drop in revenue is expected this quarter.
Many other firms, however, believe it's far too early to say things have bottomed out. The first quarter results only look rosy when compared to last year's abysmal fourth quarter, they caution, and the financial system remains too shaky for anyone to say things are stabilizing. Economists largely agree, predicting the recession will stretch on for at least another 6 months.