Global events finally caught up with investor sentiment this part month. The massive earthquake in Japan and the subsequent Pacific tsunami have left many pondering the worldwide economic implications of these events. On the other side of the world, the civil war in Libya continues to play out, with NATO forces now enforcing a no-fly zone to protect civilians and rebel forces. The unrest in the region continues to propel oil prices higher, which could hamper the global economy.
The S&P 500 and Wilshire 5000 indexes saw their first back-to-back weekly losses since November of last year. This market weakness pushed investor optimism to its lowest level since August 26, 2010, and led to the first negative bull-bear spread—the difference between bullish and bearish sentiment—in 29 weeks.
For this week, bullish sentiment rebounded 4.1 percentage points to 41.8%. Bearish sentiment dropped 3.9 percentage points to 31.1%; and Neutral sentiment dipped 0.2 percentage points to 27.1%.
Results as of March 31, 2011:
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Long-Term Average and Extreme Values
Average: 39.1%, Max: 75.0% (1/6/2000), Min: 12.0% (11/16/1990)
Average: 30.6%, Max: 62.0% (6/3/1988), Min: 7.7% (10/9/2008)
Average: 30.3%, Max: 70.3% (3/5/2009), Min: 6.0% (8/21/1987)