A galactic explosion is taking place in markets, and we are all witnesses to it. The bearish sentiment of investors and traders is so extreme that bullish seasonal trends cannot overcome it.
When sentiment and trends are in sync, it’s a beautiful thing. Bullish charts, technicals, sentiment indicators and price result in great money making opportunities. But that’s not where we are – not this year.
Bearish sentiment is high
Recent polls have shown the bulls are in retreat. In fact, the findings from the weekly AAII Investor Sentiment Survey shows bullish sentiment is below 20% for a second straight week, something that is quite rare. In fact, we have not seen this reading in the teens in many years; it is often north of 40% at all times.
Bearish sentiment is quite high in most polls; the bull/bear spread is typically very tight when the bears have the upper hand. This is considered a good contrarian signal – go against the crowd.
Bullish seasonal trends are nowhere to be found
History shows that in mid to late April, the bulls come out to play. Instead, we’ve had only four up session but 12 down session during 16 trading days this month. Further, the SPX 500 has not seen two consecutive up days this entire month.
Typically the bulls take control of the markets now, and they continue to lead the way into the summer months. It’s just not happening, and I don’t know what to expect going forward. The best explanation for what’s happening is that we are mired in a bear market. Traders are worried about the hawkish Federal Reserve, which is bent on raising interest rates much higher (and probably for much longer) than we imagined or anticipated.
Sentiment is never wrong. This year, the calendar is.
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