With markets heading into the home-stretch in what is usually a positive time of year for stocks, individual investors are feeling increasingly confident towards the market. According to this week’s sentiment poll from the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), bullish sentiment increased from 36.9% up to 45%. That’s the greatest weekly increase in three months and the fourth straight week of increased optimism. The last time bullish sentiment increased for four straight weeks was back in early 2016, and we haven’t seen five straight weeks of increased bullish sentiment since 2012! Given the increases in sentiment, it’s hard to believe that bulls haven’t been able to take a majority, but at least sentiment is back above average. It has now been a record 154 straight weeks since bullish sentiment last eclipsed 50%.
Bearish sentiment saw a 6.1 percentage point decline this week falling from 34.2% down to 28.1%. That’s the lowest weekly print for bearish sentiment in just over a month, but nowhere near the lowest levels of the year.
Finally, fewer and fewer investors are sitting on the fence these days as neutral sentiment dropped to 28.1% from 34.2% last week. That’s the lowest reading in that measure since 11/2.