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Stock Market Investor Sentiment Indicator Not a Factor

Stock-Markets / Stock Market Sentiment Mar 23, 2009 - 12:55 AM GMT

By: Guy_Lerner

Stock-Markets Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThis week investor sentiment is neutral. The bearish sentiment (i.e., bull signal) of the past three weeks has dissipated. Going forward, equities will need to rely upon their own merits to score gains. In other words, as bears have turned into bulls, sentiment will be less of a factor in any price appreciation.


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



As you can see, the "dumb money" indicator has moved out of the extreme bearish zone (i.e., bull signal) and it is now neutral. This is typical as prices move higher. The stock market is recruiting more believers (i.e., bulls). It takes bulls to make a bull market so we need to see more bulls. This is one interpretation for the indicator. Another interpretation is that stocks will need to make price gains on their own merit (i.e., fundamentals) as sentiment is no longer a factor.

Looking forward, two scenarios are possible: 1) the market continues its winning ways in which case the indicator will move higher as more bears are converted to bulls; or 2) the price gains will level out in which case the indicator will remain stuck in the neutral zone. In scenario #1, the market and current intermediate term price cycle will top out when there is extreme bullish sentiment (i.e., bear signal). In scenario #2, the rally will likely churn along for the next four to six weeks before rolling over and retesting the March, 2009 lows. As I believe that the current rally is a counter trend rally within an ongoing bear market, I am expecting the latter scenario. I would be happy if I am wrong.

The S&P500 gained about 20% from the March 6 low to the March 19 high; this was over 9 trading days! On a close to close basis, the move has been 12% or a whopping 300 plus percent annualized. It is my guess that the best part of the move is behind us, and we are likely playing for a retest of the March 19 highs (which is only 4.5% above us) or possibly the key resistance levels between 820 and 830 on the S&P500 (which is approximately 7.5% away). You will need to be nimble to make money.

For completenss sake, I have included the "Smart Money" indicator 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.

By Guy Lerner

http://thetechnicaltakedotcom.blogspot.com/

Guy M. Lerner, MD is the founder of ARL Advisers, LLC and managing partner of ARL Investment Partners, L.P. Dr. Lerner utilizes a research driven approach to determine those factors which lead to sustainable moves in the markets. He has developed many proprietary tools and trading models in his quest to outperform. Over the past four years, Lerner has shared his innovative approach with the readers of RealMoney.com and TheStreet.com as a featured columnist. He has been a regular guest on the Money Man Radio Show, DEX-TV, routinely published in the some of the most widely-read financial publications and has been a marquee speaker at financial seminars around the world.

© 2009 Copyright Guy Lerner - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Guy Lerner Archive

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