Investor Sentiment: Still Bullish

By: Guy Lerner | Sun, Mar 15, 2009
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Despite last week's big jump in the equity markets, the "dumb money" remains bearish on equities. These investors appear to be reluctant and still on the sidelines. The "smart money" is still bullish. This is a bullish alignment of signals suggesting that dips will be bought.

The "Dumb Money" indicator is shown in figure 1. The "dumb money" looks for extremes in the data from 4 different groups of investors who historically have been wrong on the market: 1) Investor Intelligence; 2) Market Vane; 3) American Association of Individual Investors; and 4) the put call ratio.

Figure 1. "Dumb Money"/ weekly

The "smart money" indicator is a composite of the following data: 1) public to specialist short ratio; 2) specialist short to total short ratio; 3) SP100 option traders. The "Smart Money" indicator is shown in figure 2.

Figure 2. "Smart Money"/ weekly

A 10% "pop" in one week, and the "dumb money" still remains bearish (i.e., bull signal). Maybe they know something? It doesn't seem likely as they (i.e., the "dumb money") were holding on since the January, 2009 highs and hoping that the November, 2008 lows would hold. Woops!! That didn't work out. It appears that the "dumb money" threw in the towel at the wrong time.

In any case, the "Smart Money" and the "Dumb Money" indicators remain bullish, and it is my belief that dips will be bought. After a 10% up move in a week, one would expect the market to pullback, but often times in the markets, there is a gap between our expectations and reality. The pullback will be bought. However, I just don't know how deep or shallow the expected pullback will be.



Guy Lerner

Author: Guy Lerner

Guy M. Lerner

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