Investors turned optimistic for the third time since the credit crisis started last year, gauges of sentiment among individual investors in the U.S. show, a pattern that Helmsman Global Trading says is a signal to sell.
The difference between the American Association of Individual Investors Bull Index and Bear Index surged to 5.6 as of April 2. When the reading rose to 11.5 in November and 13.6 in January it coincided with the end of “bear-market rallies” of at least 21 percent by the MSCI World Index.
“What that’s going to show is that people always want to look at the glass as if it is half full,” said Martin Marnick, head of trading at Helmsman Global Trading Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Using common sense you know what that general trend is. We’re in a recession and this is not the start of a bull market.”
The spread, which has fluctuated between 63 and minus 54 in the past two decades, has climbed above 5 in only three periods since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September. It retreated to minus 8.6 according to data released yesterday.