With four straight days of declines and futures suggesting a fifth today, bullish sentiment declined back below 20% this week for only the second time during this bull market. According to the weekly survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), bullish sentiment declined from 27.55% down to 19.2%. That’s the largest one-week decline since the end of July, and the only other week in this bull market where positive sentiment was lower was in mid-January. As recent market returns suggest, there’s not a whole lot for investors to get excited about lately.
Bearish sentiment is not as extreme to the upside as bullish sentiment is to the downside, but it is still very high. In this week’s survey, negative sentiment spiked 14 percentage points from 34.7% up to 48.7%. Back in late January we saw a similarly high reading, but before that the last time bearish sentiment was higher was in April 2013.