Independent financial advisers are somewhat optimistic about the economy, with 44% saying they believe the recession will end this year, and another 41% pointing to next year, Charles Schwab found in a survey of 1,200 advisers.

Fifty-three percent said they believe the S&P 500 Index will rise in the first half of this year, and 67% said they hope they country will become more united in the next six months, up from 23% who said so last July. Roughly 66% said they approve of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s leadership.

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