Looking back there has been a year's worth of news in 2008 and it is only the end of the first quarter. The volatility has been greater this year than last, to say the least. The chances of things calming down seem quit slim.
Below is a chart of the S&P 500 Index. This basic chart shows the extension levels based on the opening range. The market rallied into the 1350 area and has since failed to hold those gains and is closer now to the 1290 area.
S&P 500 Index(click to enlarge)
One method to measure the strength of any move is to compare the daily pivot,(H+L+C)/3, to the three day rolling pivot, (3day Highest High + 3day Lowest Low + Close)/3. The daily pivot from Friday is 1321.01 and the 3day Pivot is 1326.87. As the daily pivot is below the 3day pivot, the path of least resistance is down. For any rally to change this momentum, prices must cross the 1321.01 and 1326.87. Most years this could take a day or two to set up, but this year it can take 15minutes.
The middle pane in the chart below shows the daily pivot and the 3day pivot.