In normal times a bullish sentiment reading of 40% wouldn’t be much of a big deal, but given the state of sentiment over the last several years, 40% is now considered an accomplishment. In this week’s sentiment survey from AAII, bullish sentiment increased 1.7 percentage points up to 39.6%. That represents a five-week high, but also a record 147 straight weeks where bulls have failed to be in the majority.
While bullish sentiment may have ticked higher, bearish sentiment surged 5.1 percentage points to a seven-week high of 33.0%. 33% may not sound like much and it is lower than the 39.6% bullish reading, but when you consider the fact that stocks have been hitting record highs on a seemingly daily basis, it represents a healthy degree of skepticism.
With both the bull and bear camps expanding this week, fence sitters plummeted, falling 6.8 percentage points down to 27.3%. That was the largest weekly decline since August and is the lowest weekly reading since March.