Rare to See Optimism Below 20% and Neutral Above 50%


A rare combination of readings was registered this week in our weekly sentiment survey: Bullish sentiment is below 20% and neutral sentiment is above 50%. Such a combination has only occurred five previous times since the AAII Sentiment Survey started in 1987.

The table below shows these occurrences and how the S&P 500 fared following each of them. Pay attention to the dates; the previous five readings are all from a 10-month span between May 1988 and March 1989. There is no guarantee that the returns for this short period of time are indicative of future market performance.

A complete history of the survey’s results can be downloaded from the AAII Sentiment Survey page. An analysis of the market’s performance following unusually high and low sentiment readings was published in the June 2014 AAII Journal.

The Six Weeks With Bullish Sentiment Below 20% and Neutral Sentiment Above 50%

Date Bullish Sentiment Neutral Sentiment 26-Week S&P 500 Return 52-Week S&P 500 Return
5-13-88 19.0% 56.0% 4.3% 22.2%
7-22-88 16.0% 58.0% 8.8% 27.5%
8-19-88 19.0% 53.0% 14.0% 33.0%
9-9-88 17.0% 52.0% 9.8% 30.7%
3-10-89 13.0% 52.0% 19.1% 15.4%
5-25-16 17.8% 52.9% N/A N/A

2 thoughts on “Rare to See Optimism Below 20% and Neutral Above 50%”

  1. where can in find the demographics of the AAII survey? # of respondents, age of respondents, investor type, etc.


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