AAII Sentiment Shows Investors Cautious

Carl Swenlin

Carl Swenlin


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For the second week in a row the AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) Investor Sentiment Poll shows that the percentage of bulls and bears are about equal, resulting in a Bull/Bear ratio of 1.0. This is a mildly bullish reading, but it is a far cry from what we typically see at important market bottoms, such as the readings at the 2009 and 2010 market lows. While the percentage of bulls has contracted from optimistic levels, the percentage of bears is on the low side of the range. This says that investors are cautious, but not particularly fearful.

The AAII poll has a Wednesday cutoff, with participants voting throughout the week--bull, bear, or neutral. While they register their outlook for the next six months, the erratic weekly results clearly show that sentiment tends to be swayed by short-term market swings.

Conclusion: As I write this the market is open and experiencing heavy selling; however, yesterday's AAII Investor Sentiment numbers do not support the idea of an extended sell-off.

Happy charting,


Carl Swenlin
About the author: is a veteran technical analyst who has been actively engaged in market analysis since 1981. A pioneer in the creation of online technical resources, he was president and founder of, one of the premier market timing and technical analysis websites on the web. DecisionPoint specializes in stock market indicators and charting. Since DecisionPoint merged with in 2013, Carl has served a consulting technical analyst and blog contributor. Learn More