It may be hard to imagine, but while it may seem as though stocks have been doing nothing but going up, the S&P 500 is currently at the same level now that it was at two weeks ago. Granted, the two weeks or so prior to that saw a strong rally, but with stocks just hanging around right near record levels, individual investors have become increasingly antsy. According to the weekly survey from AAII, bullish sentiment declined from 35.43% down to 31.25%, marking the 39th straight week of below average bullish sentiment. If the July rally couldn't boost sentiment above 40%, we certainly shouldn't have expected a sideways market to do the trick!
While bullish sentiment declined by over four points, bearish sentiment increased by a more modest amount, rising from 26.72% up to 28.41%. The majority of investors who left the bullish camp moved into the neutral camp as that category increased from 37.85% back up above 40.34%.