Each week the service Investors Intelligence surveys some 140 financial newsletter writers to determine whether they are leaning bullish or bearish in their opinions to subscribers. The resulting Investors Intelligence Survey compiles the data to arrive at a weekly percentage of bulls v.s. bears. The Survey is considered a contrarian indicator, since extremes in either direction are signals of reversal of the market’s current trend.
According to Investors Intelligence, “Historically, bulls are 55%-60% when indexes achieve record highs, and those extreme levels of optimism often prove negative. They reflect fully invested positions. High levels of bearishness are usually positive because they most often occur after a major market decline, and reflect that there is plenty of cash on the sidelines…Short term opportunities have been indicated after the spread between the bulls and bears contracted to 15% or lower, and then expanded.”