Thursday, March 21, 2013

Investor psychology remains muted

For the eighth consecutive week the percentage of bullish investors remains below the historical "danger zone" of 50%.  Bearish investors remain low but not abnormally so.

According to this week's American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) survey, 39% of respondents were bullish on the stock market's interim outlook while 33% were bearish.  This compares to last week's response of 45% bulls against 32% bears.

I would characterize the latest AAII sentiment poll as being relatively benign.  Although the bears aren't numerous, neither are the bulls numerous considering the major indices are hovering near all-time highs.  I can't remember the last time such elevated equity price levels elicited such a muted response among retail investors, can you?  From a contrarian standpoint this is considered supportive of the interim upward trend for stocks.

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