For years we’ve seen a trend where anytime the S&P 500 saw a pullback, any bulls in the weekly AAII sentiment poll would run for the exits and stay there until all signs pointed to an all clear. Earlier this year, we saw bullish sentiment surge to some of the highest levels of the bull market right before the market peaked. Then, when stocks pulled back, so too did bullish sentiment. Heading into this week’s poll results, we expected that bullish sentiment would remain subdued given the volatility in equities. What we saw, though, is that bulls have come charging back! In this week’s survey, bullish sentiment increased from 37.0% up to 48.5% for a gain of 11.5 percentage points. That’s the largest weekly increase since last September. It’s nice to see that investors are finally starting to get comfortable with equities. The time to worry, though, is when that comfort turns into complacency.
As you might expect given the surge in bullish sentiment, bearish sentiment plunged from 35.0% down to 21.4%. That’s the largest weekly decline in two years!