July provided investors with something to be happy about, as the Wilshire 5000 rose nearly 7% for the month. The AAII Sentiment Survey seemingly reflected the uptick in the markets. After bottoming out at 20.9% on July-its lowest level since March 5, 2009-bullish sentiment rebounded to more normal levels. Interestingly enough, March 5, 2009, marked the bottom of the market following the financial crisis of 2008-2009. One can only hope that the market sees another rebound like the one that developed in the months following March 2009!
Looking forward, there still not does appear to be a clear consensus on the prospects for the economy over the near term. Growth seems to be losing steam while consumer spending is slipping and unemployment claims are taking an unexpected jump. Overall, however, the current earnings season has been encouraging, and analysts have generally been raising their forecasts for the rest of the year. As we all know, the fortunes of the market are closely tied to the economy. Economic numbers will play a key role in the movement of the market over the next several weeks, especially as volume continues to be thin as many investors take vacations in the last weeks of summer leading up to the Labor Day holiday.
To participate in the AAII Sentiment Survey, or to view historical survey results, click on the link below: