After five straight weeks of declines, bullish sentiment on the part of individual investors finally rose in the latest week, although just barely. According to the weekly survey from the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), bullish sentiment increased from 25.21% up to 27%. Although bullish sentiment increased slightly, this was still the 12th week in a row where it was below its bull market average of 38.50%. What makes these depressed levels of sentiment so interesting is the fact that they come when the S&P 500 continues to plumb new highs.
Just as bullish sentiment was little changed, bearish sentiment saw an even smaller move, rising to 25.14% from last week’s level of 25.0%.
With bullish and bearish sentiment stuck in the mid 20% range, neutral sentiment remained elevated this week, coming in at a level of 47.9%. This was the eighth straight week where neutral sentiment was above 40%, which is the longest streak of 40%+ readings in neutral sentiment since 1993! It seems as though investors these days are stuck between a rock and a hard place with respect to their sentiment towards stocks.