Poll results: Stock market – buy, hold or sell?

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I posted an opinion poll about the outlook for the US stock market on Tuesday last week. In essence, the poll set out to determine readers’ views about the direction of the stock market over the next few months. More specifically the poll asked about the level of the S&P 500 Index (893 at the time of the poll) by the end of September 2009 and December 2009 respectively.

A total of 615 people participated in the September poll and 511 in the December poll, answering as shown in the tables below.

poll-30-september-2009-pic1

poll-31-december-2009-pic1

The S&P 500 improved on the first three days of the poll, but declined marginally on the last day, leaving the Index 2.9% higher over the voting period.

The poll results indicate quite negative investor sentiment. As far as the three-month period to September 30 is concerned, 71.9% of the readers see the S&P 500 declining, while a majority (55.1%) also see the Index down by the end of the year.

If serving only one purpose, and admittedly based on a relatively small sample, the voting indicates that there is not universal bullishness as is often cited by pundits as an argument in support of equities having experienced nothing more than a bear market rally since the March lows.

Interestingly, the bearish poll results are confirmed by last week’s survey by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), indicating 48% of investors were bearish while 28% were bullish. As reported by Bespoke, the bull-bear spread of -20.8% was the lowest level since the week ended March 12.

poll-bespoke

Source: Bespoke, June 25, 2009.

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2 comments to Poll results: Stock market – buy, hold or sell?

  • basehitz

    There is an apparent discrepancy in sentiment data. Schaeffer Research shows bulls/bears at 43/28. (Almost the opposite of what is cited here.) While not wildly bullish, it is considerably higher than the despair in early March when it read 26/47.
    http://www.schaeffersresearch.com/streetools/market_tools/investors_intelligence.aspx

    Also, I would expect your readers and the blogosphere in general, to have a more critical outlook than those who are subjected to the daily bullish chants on Tout TV, who I conclude are more agenda-driven than objectively reporting.

  • Gerold Becker

    Few investors I know are bullish. I can’t help but wonder how much the markets are bouyed by the Fed and other central banks. “Free markets” are a joke. The only question is how long can they keep up the charade?

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