Posts filed under “Sentiment”

Top Issue for Americans? Bad Government

The Gallup polling organization is in the business of taking the pulse of the American public. A new survey detects a surprising shift in perceptions. It points not just to the nation’s sour mood and disappointment with the drawn-out recovery, but also to a sense that something different is now wrong with the U.S.

In 2014, four issues generated enough public concern over enough months for at least 10% of Americans, on average, to identify each of them as the nation’s most important problem. Complaints about government leadership — including President Barack Obama, the Republicans in Congress and general political conflict — led the list, at 18%. This was closely followed by mentions of the economy in general (17%), unemployment or jobs (15%) and healthcare (10%).

This is quite notable for several reasons: One of the more significant observations is that for the first year since 2007, the economy wasn’t the top issue.

Second, its the first time in Gallup’s long history that government was cited as the #1 problem . . .

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Category: Politics, Sentiment

Rich Countries on Whether Any Day Is a Good One

This is such a strange data point . . .     Source: Pew Research

Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media, Sentiment

Wall St Ends 2014 More Cautious Than it Began

From Bank of America Merrill Lynch: The Sell Side Indicator — our measure of Wall Street’s bullishness on stocks — moved sideways in December, unchanged from November’s reading of 52.1. At the start of the year, it was 53.3. The indicator remains in “Buy” territory, as Wall Street’s bearishness is still more extreme than at…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Sentiment

Beware Anecdotal Sentiment Readings!

It’s the time of year when predictions are in order. Not by us, but by other people. We have spilled plenty of pixels on why forecasts are folly (see this, this, this, this and this); we won’t revisit that well-trod ground, at least not today. Instead, I wanted to discuss the rather annoying tendency of…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Sentiment

What Worries Investors?

Great graphic from Bloomberg

 

click for complete graphic
inflation deflation

 

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Category: Digital Media, Investing, Sentiment

Disbelief in Equities is What is Driving Them Higher

As a fan of investor psychology, I find sentiment intriguing. Measuring it is a challenge. We can’t trust what people say because they become bullish after they buy and bearish after they sell, convincing themselves that past trades were the correct way to go. Humans are notorious liars — especially to themselves. When they are…Read More

Category: Investing, Psychology, Sentiment

Playboy Bunnies, Mila Kunis and the Myth of the Celebrity Stockpicker

Last week, I came across the following headline: “As music sales fall, sax player Kenny G turns to stockpicking.” My immediate reaction: Uh oh. The last thing any bull market needs is for celebrities to be featured in the financial press. As soon as that starts, it means the bull market must be near a…Read More

Category: Contrary Indicators, Investing, Really, really bad calls, Sentiment

Too Bullish or Too Bearish?

One of my favorite pastimes is dissecting accepted Wall Street wisdom to see if it contains any value for investors or traders. Often, upon examination, the widely held beliefs turn out to be closer to magical thinking than financial acumen. One of the more recent examples is the way some analysts use data on sentiment…Read More

Category: Markets, Sentiment, Trading

1958: Public Investing in the Stock Market as Never Before

This week in 1958: LIFE Magazine highlights a strange new phenomenon: The public is investing in the stock market as never before. “On the average,” reports LIFE, “500,000 new customers a year have been getting into the market and 8.6 million Americans now own some kind of common or preferred stock…. To an extent which…Read More

Category: Investing, Markets, Sentiment

Household Rotation from Fixed Income to Equities

  Today’s chart comes to us from Torsten Slok, the chief international economist at Deutsche Bank AG. While rumors of an institutional rotation — selling equities and buying fixed income — swirl, we see the opposite behavior from households. Continues here    

Category: Investing, Sentiment