The stock market is down over 10% this year and investors are freaked out.
The team over at Bespoke Investment Group highlighted the per cent of investors surveyed by the American Association of Individual Investors who described themselves as “bullish” in its latest survey.
And only one other time — back in mid-January — since the financial crisis has sentiment been this poor. In this week’s reading just 19.2% of investors were upbeat on the market, down from 27.6% last week.
This is the largest one-week decline in the measure since the summer.
“As recent market returns suggest, there’s not a whole lot for investors to get excited about lately,” Bespoke writes.
And on the flip side of things the number of pessimistic investors is spiking.
“In this week’s survey, negative sentiment spiked 14 percentage points from 34.7% up to 48.7%,” wrote Bespoke. “Back in late January we saw a similarly high reading, but before that the last time bearish sentiment was higher was in April 2013.”
But, it may not be all bad news.
Meb Faber of Cambria Investment Management pointed out in January, that in the 12 months following readings in the survey’s bottom 10% since 1987 the average S&P 500 return was 13.2%.
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