Let’s talk about sentiment, because I am not sure I have ever seen it all over the map as it is now.
Thursday we looked at the Investors Intelligence bulls, who are now at 51%, where they were in late September, having been at 65% in January. There is nothing magical about 51%, since readings in the 40s tend to say “enough.” (Readings in the 30s tend to say “enough already!”) But surely using this particular indicator there is not a lot of bullishness out there right now. I grant you this is tallied from last Friday, so perhaps next week it will have shifted dramatically upward.
Then on Thursday, we saw the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) out with their weekly survey where the voting closes on Tuesday, and they show bulls at nearly 50% as well. The difference being that this was a 7-point jump from last week. Perhaps it is foreshadowing what we’ll see in the Investors Intelligence readings next week, but this is quite a difference where the moms and pops are significantly more bullish than the professionals.
Now, let’s take a look at the National Association of Active Investment Managers, which has been a pretty solid tell on sentiment of late. A few short weeks ago, these folks had upped their exposure to the market to 108 and even the most bearish said they were 75% exposed to the market. Then the market fell. A week ago, we saw it plunge under 70. This survey is taken on Wednesday morning, so it is quite fresh, and so I was suitably shocked to see it fall even further to 48% this week.