As the S&P 500 broke down to the lowest levels of April this week, bullish sentiment according to the weekly AAII survey came in at a new short-term low. After rising to 27.2% last week, only 24.1% of respondents reported as bullish this week, the lowest reading since the end of March.
That resulted in rising bearish sentiment which rose 3.4 percentage points to 38.5%. Conversely, to bullish sentiment, that is the highest reading since the end of March.
With inverse moves in bullish and bearish sentiment, the bull-bear spread has fallen deeper into negative territory meaning bears continue to outnumber bulls, and by a wider margin, although nowhere near the degree as levels seen in 2022.
As we noted throughout 2022 and earlier this year, bears have consistently outnumbered bulls. In fact, this week marked the tenth in a row in which the bull-bear spread was negative. While that is one of only a handful of other streaks lasting for ten or more weeks going back through the history of the survey, it comes on the back of the record 44-week streak that ended this past February. That was only shortly after another 12-week streak ending in March of last year and the second longest streak on record (34 weeks long) that ended in the fall of 2020. In other words, the story remains in which sentiment has been unshakably bearish.
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