Heading into today’s session, the S&P 500 was little changed over the past week. But even if equity prices are not reflecting it, the decimation of the crude oil market has put a dent in investor sentiment. In this week’s AAII survey, only 24.86% of investors responded as bullish. That is the lowest level of bullish sentiment since the COVID-19 outbreak began! The last time the bullish reading was this low or lower was on October 10th when it was 20.31%. The 10 percentage point decline from last week’s reading of 34.86% was also the largest weekly decline since February 27th.
Whereas bullish sentiment fell, bearish sentiment rose to 50%. This is the first time since the final week of March that at least half of respondents reported as bearish, and it was the biggest jump in bullish sentiment since March 12th. The inverse moves of bullish and bearish sentiment this week has also sent the bull-bear spread to its widest level in favor of bears since last August. Today, the bull-bear spread is at -25.14. At its widest level back in early August is was slightly wider at -26.54. This week also marked the first time since April of 2013 that bearish sentiment doubled bullish sentiment.
Recently, neutral sentiment has been extremely muted. At its low in mid-March, neutral sentiment was only at 14.5%. Every week since then, neutral sentiment has ground higher reaching over 25% this week for the first time since late February. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.