Financial professionals work the phones on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City on Dec. 8, 2009. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) Optimism among stock market investors has dropped to one of the lowest levels, according to a survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII).
The AAII Sentiment Survey showed optimism declining, remaining “unusually low,” according to an Oct. 13 post by AAII. Bullish sentiment for the week is among the 60 lowest readings in the survey’s history. Pessimism rose slightly and “continues to be unusually high.” Bullish sentiment—expectations that stock prices will rise in the next six months—fell by 3.6 percentage points to 20.4 percent. It is below the 38 percent historical average for the 47th straight week.
Meanwhile, bearish sentiment rose 1.2 percentage points to 55.9 percent. It is above the 30.5 percent historical average for the 46th out of the past 47 weeks.
“The bull-bear spread (bullish minus bearish sentiment) is –35.6 percent and is unusually low for the 32nd time in 38 weeks. This week’s reading ranks among the most negative in the survey’s history. The breakpoint between typical and unusually low readings is currently –11.0 percent,” the post said.
According to AAII, “unusually low” readings of bullish sentiment and bull-bear spread have been followed by the S&P 500 realizing above-average and above-median returns in the following six to 12-month periods.
The decline in investor optimism comes as consumer and business outlooks about the economy remain negative.
The latest survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found that the proportion of owners expecting business conditions to improve in the next six months fell by two points to a net negative 44 percent.
A consumer survey by the University of Michigan found people’s expectations of year-ahead inflation rose in September while their expectations of the economy […]
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