The S&P 500’s swings higher and then lower over the past week have left sentiment little changed. For the American Association of Individual Investors’ (AAII) weekly survey, 24.8% of respondents reporting as bullish compared to 23.4% the previous week. That is the second higher reading in a row but still well below the recent high of 37.5% from one month ago.
Along with a modest bounce in bullishness, bearish sentiment has taken a modest decline falling from a recent high of 44.8% last week down to 41.7% today. That is the first decline in a month, leaving it in the middle of its range since the beginning of last year.
Given the moves in bullish and bearish sentiment, the bull-bear spread remains skewed in favor of bears for the third week in a row.
Following a sharp eight percentage point decline last week, neutral sentiment has bounced rising to 33.4%. Albeit higher, outside of last week, that reading would be the lowest since the end of 2022.
Although recent weeks have seen the AAII survey returns to deeply bearish sentiment, other surveys are not nearly as pessimistic. While the AAII survey’s bull-bear spread sits well over a standard deviation below its historical average, the NAAIM Exposure index continues to show only modestly long positioning among active managers. Currently, that reading is 0.2 standard deviations below the historical norm. Meanwhile, the weekly Investors Intelligence survey is actually showing respondents are reporting as more bullish than has been historically normal.
Editor’s Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.