Hulbert: Sentiment Remains Weak — and that’s Good

While the market is now up about 60% from its March low, newsletter tracker Mark Hulbert says that most managers remain very cautious — and that’s a sign the rally has more room to run.

Hulbert says on MarketWatch.com that the average recommended equity exposure among short-term market timing newsletters is just 32.3%, which is lower than it was at the beginning of October, and even lower than where it was at the beginning of September. “Such behavior is not what is usually seen at major market tops, according to contrarians,” Hulbert writes. “The typical pattern, at such tops, is for advisers and investors alike to stubbornly adhere to their bullishness.”

In addition, Hulbert notes that investors actually took more money out of domestic equity mutual funds than they put back in during September, despite continued gains in the market. That has continued for the first half of October. Investors just don’t seem to feel all that great about the Dow passing 10,000 for the first time in more than a year, Hulbert says. “That’s surprising, and suggests to contrarian analysts that there exists a strong wall of worry that the stock market can continue to climb — for at least a while longer,” he writes, adding that, “so far, at least, the rally that began last March appears to be on a solid sentiment foundation.”

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