Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bullish Investor Sentiment And Market Move Higher Over Past Month

Individual investor sentiment surveys are viewed as contrarian indicators. At times when investor bullish sentiment is at its lowest, the indicator would suggest the market is near a bottom. Conversely, when the bullish sentiment reading its at a high level, tacticians would suggest the market is topping.

Since mid July, the S&P 500 Index has increased from 1,244 to 1,285 on August 13th. This represents a 3%+ increase. During this same time period, the bullish sentiment increased from 22.17% to 42.86% on August 13th. Over this same 30-day period the 8-period moving average of bullish sentiment has remained essentially unchanged at 23-33%. On the other hand, the bull/bear spread over this same time frame has increased from -33% on July 10, 2008 to +4% on August 13th. It appears investors were the least bullish on the market at a time when the market was actually bottoming.

(click on graph for larger image)

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