After a pretty large uptick in positive sentiment last week, individual investors reined in their horns this week, even as the S&P 500 hit new all-time highs. According to AAII’s weekly survey, bullish sentiment dropped from 38.07% down to 32.73% for the largest weekly decline since March 9th. This week’s reading also extends the streak of sub-50% readings to a record 123 straight weeks.
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While bulls retreated, bears saw only a slight uptick this week as bearish sentiment increased from 29.95% up to 30.22% keeping it below the uptrend line that was broken to the downside last week.
With little uptick in bearish sentiment, all the bulls that were shaken out this week found themselves in the neutral camp as this measure increased to 37.05% from last week’s reading of just under 32%. That’s the largest weekly increase since mid-March and the highest reading since before the election. Perhaps it was this week’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey or just a general feeling of unease at record highs, but individual investors definitely took on a more cautious attitude in the last few days.