Many Americans were waking up a little bit richer Thursday morning.
The average portfolio and retirement account is up 4,000 after the Dow Jones industrial average closed Wednesday, up nearly 500 points, above the 12,000 mark - the seventh largest gain ever.
"Is this the Santa Claus rally everyone's been wondering about? It's little early for that. But it certainly could be," said Stephen Guilfoyle, an economist for Meridian Equity Partners.
Wednesday's rally came in reaction to a move by the world's central banks to lower the cost of borrowing.
They made it easier for banks to borrow American dollars in hopes of stopping the European debt crisis from exploding into a global panic.
"If Europe goes down, there will be repercussions for us and if a full blown panic goes out, as we saw in 2008, there really is nowhere to hide," Mesirow Financial chief economist Diane Swonk said.
Many economists warn, however, that the move by the central banks didn't provide a permanent fix and only buys time for political leaders in debt-ridden countries like Italy and Greece.
In Athens, workers kicked off yet another strike over new proposals for pay cuts in the public sector.
And on Wednesday, Britain saw its largest strike in decades. Two million protesters took to the streets to oppose demands that public employees work longer before getting pensions.
"It's just unfair on everyone and it's just our way of fighting back," said Tony Jupp, a civil servant of the city of London.
Meanwhile, markets across Asia soared within minutes of opening Thursday morning.
"This is the sign that the market is looking for that the governments in the Western world will not stand idly by and let the crisis get out of hand," said Francis Lun, managing director at Lyncean Holdings.
The central banks' move put many investors at ease. But it does little to solve the mountains of government debt in Europe.
Those leaders will need to find a long-term solution when they meet for a debt summit in Brussels later this month.