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|Includes:AMZN, DECK, LVS, MLNX, Pandora Media (P), SBUX, SPWR


An immediate, and ultimately short-lived, reaction to a particular event - for example, if you had just won the lottery, you would feel ebullient.

Someone perpetually upbeat and cheerful - for example, as in "an ebullient personality," watch out for ebullient personalities: they can often be "over the top" as well.

It has been a longtime since popular music, or musicians were once described as "Ebullient." However, back in 1959, that is how the world viewed Mr. Dizzy Gillespie. Back in those days, jazz was pop and all the rage. As it turned out, 1959 was a pretty good year for the United could say that it was an ebullient time.

  • GDP +6.9% after tumbling -0.7% the preceding year
  • America peaked with the largest percentage of global GDP
  • Total debt as percentage of GDP was 2/3 less than today
  • Alaska and Hawaii became states

Yesterday, the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) released its latest survey on sentiment, reflecting a big spike in bullishness. Typically, a spike like that indicates that there is too much enthusiasm among investors, but in this case the move was coming from an extremely low-point, where individual investors were actually more bearishness than bullish. Nevertheless, we hear a lot these days about how poor the timing is for the Main Street investor, with respect to jumping in at the wrong time with reckless enthusiasm.

Investors are not ebullient, even if more of them are dipping a toe into the water.

The fact is, just as music has evolved since the cool age of jazz, so too have investor attitudes about the market. Of course, music's course seems linear from jazz to rock, to acid to punk, and to heavy metal, which shared the charts with disco, and then various forms of rap, including gangster rap. (Country music evolved as well, although I prefer the older stuff to the more pop-light offerings today.) What is interesting is that investors get the blame for being too enthusiastic and creating market tops, but one has to consider that perhaps market rallies fan the flames of unbridled excitement. It is sort of a chicken and egg kind of thing. On that note, the bullishness among individuals has coincided with market tops, and that is the good news because individuals are anything but ebullient.

Stock Market - Historic Tops Bullish Bearish
August 24, 1987 66.0 6.0
March 24, 2000 65.7 20.0
January 3, 2002 51.0 24.4
October 11, 2007 54.0 25.7
April 23, 2014 34.5 26.0

The fact is, the entire bull market has occurred on muted individual investor enthusiasm, and light volume. The bottom line is that individuals have missed the rally, and those that have come in late are down in the hot names, and would not have considered buying boring names as they play catch-up.

Yesterday the shakeout continued, and at the close those pulling the strings and fermenting the fear feigned surprise that the Dow closed unchanged after so much "good" news. It is almost laughable, but not in an ebullient way.

Earnings Scoreboard

Winners: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), Deckers (NASDAQ:DECK), Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS), and Broadcom (BRCM), just to name a few. Earnings beats alone do not mean strong sessions today, but most of these businesses had great things to say, and to be proud. On that note, Visa (VISA) beat the street on earnings, but the initial reaction saw its shares lower.

Loser: Pandora (NYSE:P) was the only name of significance that missed. Melanox (NASDAQ:MLNX) also missed; it is an open position in the model portfolio.

Today's Session

Most household names that posted earnings last night have shifted lower overnight, although Microsoft (MSFT) is trying to hold onto gains. A star was born with Satya Nadella, who is seen as a guy that "gets it" with mobile and cloud tripping off his tongue non-stop during the conference call. Some weakness can be attributed to Russia - Ukraine where tensions are increasing as both Russia and the United States continue to saber rattle. This is the typical fallout from such geopolitical tensions, but there are huge economic ramifications to consider.

Highflyers could get smacked around as the pullback in Amazon picks up steam, and general anxiety causes investor rotation back into safe names.