On this eighth anniversary of the bear market lows from 2009 and the start of the most hated bull market in history, it seems only fitting that sentiment gauges of individual investors from AAII came in where they did this week. We’ll start with the percentage of investors who can’t make up their mind and therefore put themselves in the neutral camp. In this week’s survey, that percentage dropped to 23.5%, which is the lowest reading of 2017 and the third lowest reading in the last four years! At the very least, investors appear to finally be taking a stand.
What’s amazing, however, is how few of these investors are willing to commit themselves to the bullish camp. In this week’s survey, bullish sentiment dropped from 37.9% down to 30.0%. That’s the lowest weekly reading in bullish sentiment since the week before the election and also extends the record streak of weeks where bulls haven’t been in the majority to 114!
That leaves us with bearish sentiment, which absolutely surged this week. From last week’s level of 35.6%, bears ballooned to 46.5%, which is the highest reading since the equity market lows last February and the 20th highest weekly reading (out of 418 weeks) in bearish sentiment since the start of the bull market in March 2009! Normally, we would say that this doesn’t seem like the best way to commemorate an eight year bull market, but when it’s a bull market that so many individual investors have watched from the sidelines, it makes sense that they aren’t in any mood to celebrate.
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