Contrarian Warning: One Sentiment Measure Is At 1987 Levels Of Bullishness

 |  Includes: DIA, IWM, QQQ, SPY
by: Moby Waller

Longtime option and sentiment trader Don Fishback passed these charts on to us. What they show is various long-term investor/advisor sentiment surveys from Investor's Intelligence, AAII, Hulbert and Consensus. The combined Bullish Sentiment by his measure is at the highest level since August 1987 (the market dropped 22% on 'Black Monday' in October 1987). See the charts below:

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge Click to enlargeClick to enlargeClick to enlarge

Click to enlarge

(all via Don Fishback ODDS)

The "All Average" chart at the bottom shows the highest overall level of bullishness since 1987 by this combined measure - an 'upside breakout of bullish sentiment', if you will. (In which a lack of bears is a factor, and could contribute to a potentially dangerous complacency).

Does this mean that the market is due for an imminent crash? Of course not. But it is something to keep in mind given the 20%+ gains seen in the market (NYSEARCA:DIA) (NYSEARCA:SPY) (NASDAQ:QQQ) (NYSEARCA:IWM) in 2012 and 2013 without much in the way of 10%+ pullbacks.

You will note that high levels of bullish sentiment were hit many times in the past without being a pre-cursor to a major broad market correction or crash - many examples on that last chart above - but it wasn't quite this high level of overall sentiment.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.