US Stock Sentiment is Extremely Bullish — International , US Stocks — GCC Market Analytics
US Stock Sentiment is Extremely Bullish | GCC Market Analytics

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

US Stock Sentiment is Extremely Bullish

Here's an interesting chart I came across on the Bespoke Investment Group blog.  It shows the combined bullish sentiment measures of the American Association of Individual Investors and the Investors Intelligence surveys.

The current bullish sentiment towards stocks in the US has only been higher on eight occasions since 1987.

In order to see how this relates to the stock market below I've overlayed the S&P 500 Index on the same chart.

As you can see, some previous extreme bullish sentiment levels have corresponded with significant market highs (1987, 2000, 2007).   However, other extreme readings have merely been followed by a temporary pause or mild pull pack in stock prices.

So what can we expect to follow this current extreme in bullish sentiment? Well, any significant decline in the market will have to overcome some serious headwinds.  We're in the midst of the Santa Claus rally, then there's the combined January effect and 3rd year of the Presidential cycle coming up.  And let's not forget the Fed's continuing POMO activities which appear to be bullish for stock prices.

Of course, on the negative side there's the ongoing debt crisis in Europe.  That alone has the potential to derail the stock market. And as I've pointed out in a previous post, the fact that bond yields are rising pretty much across the board could be an early warning sign of trouble ahead.

My best guess would be that we're in for a temporary pause in the US stock market advance over the next few months.  That will enable the current extreme bullish sentiment to be worked off.  But in these unusual economic times I wouldn't rule out the market's potentail to deal up a big surprise either.