As equities have continued to trend higher in the past week, sentiment has modestly improved across various indicators. Overall, sentiment remains in favor of bulls but not to any sort of extreme. For starters, the most recent reading of the National Association of Active Investment Managers’ (NAAIM) Exposure Index rose to the highest level since mid-June. Meanwhile, the Investors Intelligence survey of equity newsletter writers saw bullish sentiment rise to 56.4%, the highest in a month, and bearish sentiment fall to 15.9%, the lowest in a month. The AAII’s weekly survey saw similar results. The reading on bullish sentiment rose 0.9 percentage points to 37% this week.  That is the highest level since the week of July 8th, but that is still a percentage point below the historical average and is also below most readings observed this year.

While bullish sentiment was higher, bearish sentiment was little changed falling just 0.2 percentage points to 31.5%.  Pulling back only slightly, bearish sentiment continues to be elevated relative to the past several months’ readings. It is currently ~1 percentage point above the historical average.

The moves in bullish and bearish sentiment mean the bull-bear spread rose slightly in favor of bulls.  The spread rose from 4.4 last week to 5.5 this week.

Neutral sentiment matched bearish sentiment at 31.5%.  That was down slightly from 32.2% last week and is right back in line with the historical average.  Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options.

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