For the first time since 2003, shares of discount brokers such as Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade Holding and E*Trade Financial are making significant gains relative to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Analysts say this could mean that individuals are preparing to return to the stock market. "It says something about an improvement of confidence among our biggest sector of the economy, retail investors and households," said James Paulsen of Wells Capital Management.

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