Investor Sentiment: Time To Pay Attention!

thetechnicaltake's picture

After 8 months of indifference to the constant and persistent rise in stock prices, the "smart money" has finally turned bearish. It is time to pay attention.

The "Smart Money" indicator is shown in figure 1. The "smart money indicator is a composite of the following data: 1) public to specialist short ratio; 2) specialist short to total short ratio; 3) SP100 option traders. The "Smart Money" indicator is has turned bearish for the first time since January, 2009.

Figure 1. "Smart Money" Indicator/ weekly

The "Dumb Money" indicator (see figure 2) looks for extremes in the data from 4 different groups of investors who historically have been wrong on the market: 1) Investor Intelligence; 2) Market Vane; 3) American Association of Individual Investors; and 4) the put call ratio. The "Dumb Money" indicator is bullish to an extreme degree, and this implies that a price move is either nearing its end or the ascent of prices is surely to show. This is our expectation 85% of the time.

Figure 2. "Dumb Money" Indicator/ weekly
Figure 3 is a weekly chart of the S&P500 with the InsiderScore "entire market" value in the lower panel. From the InsiderScore weekly report we get the following: "early signals indicate that insiders are not going to deviate from the path they've taken over the past year".

Figure 3. InsiderScore/ weekly "entire market" value
Figure 4 is a weekly chart of the S&P500. The indicator in the lower panel measures all the assets in the Rydex bullish oriented equity funds divided by the sum of assets in the bullish oriented equity funds plus the assets in the bearish oriented equity funds. When the indicator is green, the value is low and there is fear in the market; this is where market bottoms are forged. When the indicator is red, there is complacency in the market. There are too many bulls and this is when market advances stall.

Currently, the value of the indicator is 67.14%. Values greater than 58% (arbitrarily chosen) are associated with market tops, and the red dots over the price bars indicate such.

Figure 4. Rydex Total Bull v. Total Bear/ weekly
Shorter term Rydex measures showed excessive bullishness (i.e, not seen since 2004) earlier in the week.  
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Kreditanstalt's picture

But these calls have nothing to do with one's own view on the economy ~ something chartists and technicians have yet to understand.  THIS IS NOT INVESTING.  It's gambling, it's currency hedging.  

I'm with the Faber-ites, somewhat bullish on this year's stock outlook.  As "dumb money", one could also be bullish to the Nth degree on stock prices because that's the only game in town, yet simultaneously feel an economic depression was in the offing. 

Or, I GUESS it is hypothetically possible one can be a market bear now, yet believe in "the recovery" (though one would also have to believe in the tooth fairy, methinks...)

Remember to draw a line between market actions and economics...

Seer's picture
China's Economy May `Crash' Within a Year as Bubble Collapses, Faber Says

goober's picture

I did. What a mess. It really is a disaster and will only get worse. I'm short BP but that won't fix the damage to the environment. This will end up being a colossal nightmare and will empower the extreme side of the greeens. Personally I know that natural resources and the environment have suffered greatly and been managed horribly, but people overreact and cause more damage than they do good. The spotted owl is a perfect example of that overreaction. The sucker fish at Klamath is another. I could go on? The damage caused by this spill will be far reaching. It could fail BP?

goober's picture

I agree with the FOIA call, the fed judges are still holding it up. The Nikkie is closed for holidays until wednesday. The EURO opened and tanked from 133.480 to 132.093 right out of the box. It is slightly up but looks like a sure downward trend/movement. US markets futures are up bit but that could change by 9:30AM. Asian markets down a bit. Can our markets stay up with the EU markets down? or will EU markets surge on the FIX? And it's all based on BS so it's anybodys guess.! No doubt a correction is due, but when and how? It could come in fits and starts without a big downward surge. Down 3%  up2%  down 3%   up1%   down 2%   up2% could go on indefinately.

Mitchman's picture

Thanks for the thoughts.  We probably will not get a lot of direction overnight from the FT or maybe the Dax, but let's wait and see.  Do the algos run the place there too?

p.s.  did you check out the photos I posted of the rig exploding on GW's oil post?  Spectacular and sad.

DoctoRx's picture

Barry Ritholtz and David Kotok, both of whom got in right near the bear mkt bottom and have been long and correct every since, are making cautious noises.  The second year of every Presidency since Nixon has seen a bottom in the second year, except Reagan's 2nd term.  Why not now?

goober's picture

Mitchman- What happened to Bernie Lo? I enjoyed his commentaries and perspective. Great guests as well. The Asia shows are very inforamtuive and a little ahead of the next days events. Other than that Bloomberg is basicly a glorified MSNBC, preordained garbage.

Mitchman's picture

Goober, I agree with you on Bloomberg other than the FOIA suit they are pursuing against the Fed.  They deserve a lot of credit for that.  I'm still waiting for the Nikkei to open.  Bloomberg is saying that Spain is cutting back solar power subsidies because of the contagion (I work in the industry and they were outrageous) and they're talking about how the euro continues its retreat also because of the contagion.  I rate them a 6.5 on a scale of 10.  I rate cnbc a 10- not because they are any good.  But because they give rise to so many hilarious posts on these pages. 

tkoski6600's picture

Bernie Lo is now at CNBC Asia.

Mitchman's picture

No better test of all the theories that what the Nikkei does upon opening today.  It will set the tone for everything else.

snowball777's picture

Guess again...Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day, Children's Day.

(do these people every work? no wonder they lost a decade)

Next Nikkei open is Thu 5/6.

Itsalie's picture

That is how Japs "grow" their economy, when they work, they destroy value. Give them a week off so they can spend, they are following uncle sam's prescription, as these nips always do - spend spend spend, and GDP goes up up up :)

Mitchman's picture

Jeez!  So we get to sit and watch the algos take over again?

bigkahuna's picture

Unless you have money to burn (literally) then precious metals seem to be the way to go. If it would not matter to you if your cash burst into flames before your very eyes--go ahead and buy some of that ge, aa, or your choice of ignitor.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

There have been a lot of sell signals over the past year.  With all the "good news" about Greece, there might be at least another leg up - as insane as that sounds.  If $VIX gets to 10, I am all in with shorting this market.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

"Smart money" is leveraging up for the big parabolic move up. Watch this play out in the months ahead.

SteveNYC's picture

I think we've had our "parabolic" move. If Feb-May was not parabolic, I don't know what is.

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Where is the bubble? You need another bubble somewhere and we simply haave not got it yet.

Temporalist's picture

How about in credit, fiat currencies, equities and bonds?

Seer's picture
China's Economy May `Crash' Within a Year as Bubble Collapses, Faber Says

I think Faber is dead-on on this call.

Temporalist's picture

I listen to Faber.  He's not the only one saying that.  AU and NZ will get crushed too if that is the case.

Comrade de Chaos's picture

what about Chinese inflationary data? Isn't it the SIGN of overheating? Now imagine you are a Chinese exporter. You have to pay higher prices for your raw materials but the prices of your final produce are stagnant because you are not the middle man , do not do the final sales/marketing and Wall Marts, Targets & Co have plenty of other places to shop around (Vietnam, Malasia, etc.). So if your costs are going up but revenues are stagnant, what will happen to your MARGINS?

GoldSilverDoc's picture

What are they leveraging into?

whatsinaname's picture

Perhaps leveraging into BP/RIG/HAL/MEE ? The usual suspects ?

On the flip side could funds scrambling to delever out of the usual suspects cause a scramble on the broader markets ?

Will the effects of the oil spill be a potential black swan event that nobody expected ?

fireangelmaverick's picture

Let me buying Chinese Solar stocks?

Give it a rest Leo.