Objective sentiment survey may be oxymoronic but it has been the Holy Grail of navigating this market. According to this survey by Investors Intelligence cited by Frank Veneroso:
Bullish sentiment had a recent peak in October 2007 at the market peak with survey indicator at 87. Pessimism was greatest in March 2009 with this particular sentiment indicator at 6. No real surprise there.
So where are we now?
At a level of 80.
In the same reference, Veneroso points out that in the worst recessions of the last two centuries, the market bottom was not reached until industrial production bottomed, thus countering the conventional wisdom that the stock market leads the economic upturn by several months.
Time to jump in the market now?
I guess the question is how long sentiment readings can stay above 80. Also, do "less worse" economic indicators such as employment and manufacturing mean that we are out of the woods? Regardless of the answers to these questions, the easy money in this rally has been made and risk in the market has increased.