Debate on the Great Recession ? Our view: Stocks rebound from bottom, face tough climb ahead - Opinion - USATODAY.com On a particularly dreary day one year ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 6,547, a sickening 54% plunge from its peak in the fall of 2007. The network news broadcasts that evening had an almost apocalyptic tone to them. Some of America's mightiest corporations were priced like penny stocks. On CNBC, billionaire investor Warren Buffett told viewers that he had never seen Americans more afraid. No one knew it then, but March 9, 2009, was the bottom. Anyone who still had the cash and the nerve to follow Buffett's dictum the one about being greedy when others are fearful made out quite well. While many prognosticators, including President Obama, had suggested around the time that stocks looked cheap, virtually no one foresaw the 60% surge in the Dow and 70% rise in the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index that has transpired since. So much for the experts. For the most part, they missed the crash. And, at least in degree, they missed the recovery. With the benefit of hindsight, it's apparent that stocks were ridiculously low a year ago as panic gripped the market, financial institutions teetered and even corporations with healthy balance sheets were priced for potential bankruptcy. Still think TARP and the Stimulus package was a waste of money???