The S&P 500 has faced its share of downward pressure in the past week including a 5.76% drop last Thursday and multiple days with declines intraday.  That has slammed investor sentiment as AAII’s bullish reading fell 9.91 percentage points to 24.37% this week. That is the largest single weekly decline in bullish sentiment since the final week of February when it fell 10.17 percentage points from 40.6% to 30.43%.  This week also marked the largest move in absolute terms since then. That leaves bullish sentiment at its lowest level since the May 14th low of 23.31%.

The loss in bullish sentiment has almost entirely been picked up by the bearish camp.  Bearish sentiment rose 9.73 percentage points this week to 47.78%; the highest reading of the past month.  This was the first time bearish sentiment has risen in six weeks. As shown in the second chart below, the five-week streak of consecutive declines in bullish sentiment came to an end tied with six other identically long streaks for the longest in the history of the survey dating back to 1987.

The large inverse moves of bullish and bearish sentiment this week has caused the bull-bear spread to decline.  The spread now stands at -23.41 compared to -3.77 last week. That 19.64 point decline was the largest drop in the spread and largest absolute move since a 20.49-point drop on March 12th.  That also snapped a streak of five weeks in which the spread was moving in the direction of favoring bulls.

Not all the losses in bullish sentiment turned pessimistic though.  Neutral sentiment experienced a small increase of 0.18 percentage points to 27.85%.  Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options for our best research available.

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