I have talked about a number of sentiment indicators during the last few months. I have talked about the Investors Intelligence report, the Commitment of Traders reports and the CBOE Equity Put/Call ratio.
One indicator that I haven't mentioned before is the Rydex Nova/Ursa Ratio.
The Nova/Ursa ratio measures the assets in these two mutual funds managed by the Rydex Fund Group. The Nova Fund is a bullish fund that attempts to move 1.5 times the S&P 500. If the S&P is up 10 percent, the Nova Fund should be up somewhere around 15 percent. The Ursa Fund is a bearish fund that attempts to track inversely to the S&P. If the S&P drops 10 percent, the Ursa Fund should be up 10 percent.
The value of these two funds from a sentiment perspective is the assets that are flowing into each fund and then measuring it with a ratio. The higher the ratio is, the more bullish the sentiment toward the overall market. Conversely, the lower the ratio is, the more bearish the sentiment toward the overall market.
On Dec. 30, the ratio peaked at 0.713 and then starting rolling over. The ratio peaked at 0.66 and starting rolling lower at the end of March, so the indicator was a little early in predicting the correction from May to July. The last time the ratio moved above the 0.7 level was in January 2010. This extreme reading also came as the market peaked and corrected.
Consider this another arrow in the quiver for the bears.
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