Investor Sentiment

By: Guy Lerner | Sun, Apr 11, 2010
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The equity markets continue their ascent on decreasing volume, and the only rationale for such persistent bullishness is the unwillingness of investors to embrace the current rally. Is this the "wall of worry" or fool hearted speculation? The data would suggest the latter as newsletter writers to Rydex market timers to option traders are "all in".

The "Dumb Money" indicator 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. The "Dumb Money" indicator is bullish to an extreme degree, and this implies that a price move is either nearing its end or the ascent of prices is surely to show. This is our expectation 85% of the time. As discussed last week, not only is the current value extreme it is also less than prior extremes suggesting decreasing bullishness despite higher equity prices. This remains a noteworthy, yet unconfirmed, negative divergence.

Figure 1. "Dumb Money" Indicator/ weekly
Dumb Money Indicator - Weekly

And now this from the Department of Broken Records....

The "Smart Money" indicator is shown in figure 2. 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 neutral/ bearish.

Figure 2. "Smart Money" Indicator/ weekly
Smart Money Indicator - Weekly

Figure 3 is a weekly chart of the S&P500 with the InsiderScore "entire market" value in the lower panel. From the InsiderScore weekly report we get the following: transactional volume decrease as the quarter closed but insiders continue to sell with conviction and buy sporadically.

Figure 3. InsiderScore Entire Market/ weekly
InsiderScore Entire Market - Weekly

Figure 4 is a weekly chart of the S&P500. The indicator in the lower panel measures all the assets in the Rydex bullish oriented equity funds divided by the sum of assets in the bullish oriented equity funds plus the assets in the bearish oriented equity funds. When the indicator is green, the value is low and there is fear in the market; this is where market bottoms are forged. When the indicator is red, there is complacency in the market. There are too many bulls and this is when market advances stall.

Currently, the value of the indicator is 67.35%. This is the highest value in 9 years. Values greater than 58% (arbitrarily chosen) are associated with market tops, and the red dots over the price bars indicate such.

Figure 4. Rydex Total Bull v. Total Bear/ weekly
Rydex Total Bull versus Total Bear - Weekly

Shorter term Rydex measures continue to suggest excessive bullishness. This data, which has proved to be very actionable, is available as Premium Content. This service should help you improve your market timing.



Guy Lerner

Author: Guy Lerner

Guy M. Lerner

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