Tags: Individual | investors | exit | stocks

Individual Investors Exit Stocks, as Analysts Grow Bullish

By Dan Weil   |   Thursday, 22 Mar 2012 07:44 AM

While Wall Street analysts have jumped on the bandwagon of a soaring stock market, individual investors are jumping off.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has jumped 12 percent so far this year, triggering optimistic forecasts across Wall Street.

On Wednesday, for example, Goldman Sachs released a report from its chief global equities strategist Peter Oppenheimer saying, “The prospects for future returns in equities relative to bonds are as good as they have been in a generation,” CNBC reports.

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But retail investors aren’t convinced. In just the last week, investors withdrew almost $1.4 billion net from U.S. stock mutual funds, while sending a net $10.7 billion to bond mutual funds.

"There's a feeling that another shoe is going to drop somewhere, and they don't want to be caught in a situation where they can't get out," Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Annuities, tells CNBC.

"What they don't want to get involved in is some trap that is being set by hedge funds or asset managers to get in so [the managers] can get out."

It could be that both Wall Street and Main Street are right on this one.

U.S. corporations are likely in as strong financial shape as they ever have been. That bodes well for the stock market long-term. But in the short run, the market certainly looks vulnerable to a correction after such a big gain.

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