So far, 2015 has been a choppy one for the stock market. January saw the market dip, only to jump sharply in February and then fall again in March.
The combination of the volatility, uncertainty about the Federal Reserve's actions and heading in to earnings season has led the neutral percentage on the American Association of Individual Investors poll to reach a 14-year high.
Last week's poll showed that the bullish percentage fell from 35.4 percent to 28.7 percent, while the bearish percentage fell from 31.9 percent to 24.1 percent. This caused the neutral percentage to jump from 33 percent to 47.2 percent, the highest level the neutral percentage has reached since February 2001.
What this suggests to me is that investors are uncertain about the market for the coming months. They are not committed to making bullish investments anymore than they are committed to making bearish investments.
With this being the first big week for first-quarter earnings reports, the timing of this move to neutral is interesting to say the least.
Looking at some other sentiment indicators, the 21-day moving average on the CBOE Equity Put/Call Ratio dropped this past week, but that is the first time in five weeks that the ratio has declined.
While the sentiment survey showed a move to neutral and the options traders have been moving toward a more bearish stance, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) hit its lowest level in four months, which is indicative of bullish sentiment.
Given the fact that the overall sentiment indicators are heading in three different directions, this could be an interesting earnings season.
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