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There still may technically be three weeks left in summer, but with Labor Day weekend fast approaching, the summer season is starting to wind down. As they look forward to the last four months of 2017, individual investors are in an extremely unoptimistic mood. According to the weekly survey from AAII, bullish sentiment declined from 28.1% down to 25.0%. That’s the lowest reading since mid-May and before that late October. Sure, the market has been a bit more volatile lately, but the fact that sentiment has shifted so far south from what was already a pretty depressed range seems a bit overdone.
Along with low levels of bullish sentiment, bearish sentiment remains elevated. In this week’s survey, bearish sentiment increased from 38.29% up to 39.89%, which is the highest weekly reading since early March. Before that, you have to go all the way back to the early 2016 lows to find a week where bearish sentiment was higher.
Neutral sentiment also ticked higher this week, rising from 33.61% up to 35.11%. That’s actually down from recent highs, and while it’s nice to see that investors are at least taking more of a stand, the position they are increasingly choosing is bearish.