Stock Optimism Dips, But the Indicators Are Still a Concern

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013 07:39 AM

By Rick Pendergraft

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Over the last few months, I have written numerous articles about the Investors Intelligence report and the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). As the Standard & Poor’s 500 went on its incredible run (gaining ground in 11 of 13 weeks), the optimism rose to concerning levels.

Last week saw the S&P snap its seven-week winning streak and the sentiment indicators slipped slightly off of their bullish extremes as a result.

First, the Investors Intelligence report showed that the bullish percentage dropped from 52.6 percent to 48.4 percent, and the bearish percentage rose from 21.1 percent to 22.1 percent.

This puts the ratio at 2.19, below the 2.5 level it was at two weeks ago when I wrote this article.

In the meantime, the VIX finally moved above the 15 level last Thursday as the market experienced its most significant selling for 2013.

Unfortunately the market rally on Friday sent the VIX right back down below 15 to close week. The VIX hasn’t had a weekly close above 15 since the last week of December.

The last time there was an eight-week stretch where the VIX closed below the 15 level was in the summer of 2007 — right before the market went into the 18-month bear market.

Seeing the indicators dip slightly is a good thing, but the bullish sentiment needs to move much lower before I will get excited about the overall market again.

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