After a week where individual investor bullish sentiment saw its largest increase since the 2016 election, the bulls retreated this week. According to the weekly survey from AAII, bullish sentiment declined from 43.05% down to 34.66%, erasing just over half of the prior week's increase. No matter how much individual investors want to like the market, they just can't bring themselves to stay positive.
What's really interesting about this week's survey was that bearish sentiment also declined, falling from 29.15% down to 24.94%. With these declines, it was only the third time since 2009 that both bullish and bearish sentiment in the AAII survey fell four percentage points or more in the same week. The other two occurrences were in December 2011 and April 2015.
With both positive and negative sentiment dropping, all those bulls and bears got back on the fence. As shown in the chart below, neutral sentiment moved back up above 40%.