Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A sentimental warning for bulls and bears

Mid-week market update: Recently, there have been numerous data points indicating excessive bullishness from different segments of the market:
  • Retail investors are all-in
  • Institutional investor bullish sentiment is off the charts
  • Cash is at a two-decade low in global investor portfolios
  • RIA sentiment are at bullish extremes
  • Hedge funds are in a crowded long in equities
These giddy sentiment readings are comforting to the bear camp (chart via Business Insider) and it will be difficult for stock prices to advance under such conditions. When everyone is bullish, who is left to buy?

However, I would warn the bears that they should not go overboard and short the market with both hands. In the past, euphoric sentiment has not a good indicator for pinpointing market tops.

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