Investor Sentiment

Shares Are Getting More Scarce


Fewer IPOs bullishly keeps equity supply in check.

Stocks’ Rational Rally


Recently rising stock prices aren’t irrational—they reflect a better-than-believed reality.

Feeling Sentimental in 2016


We expect the bull market to continue in 2016, with sentiment the big swing factor. 

Are Credit Markets Sending a Distress Signal?


Trouble at a few junk bond funds renewed long-running bond market liquidity and contagion fears, but there are some mitigating factors.

Lack of Shrieking Signals Sunnier Sentiment


Unlike in past years, current news stories surrounding a shaky Portuguese government, Greek reforms lagging behind schedule and the US debt ceiling haven’t sparked investor fears.

Skeptical About the Future


Should investors anticipate lower future market returns?

Britain’s Boom Can Still Zoom


Don’t overthink the disconnect between strong UK GDP and wobbly UK stocks. Economic fundamentals should win out.

When Cheap Doesn’t Mean Value


Should investors steer clear of regions that look pricey?

Bank Investors Are Stressing Much Less


The blasé reaction to the news all 31 big US banks sailed through the Fed’s 2015 stress tests shows how much sentiment has evolved.

This Week in Arbitrary Milestones


The media reaction to some recent, largely meaningless milestones, seems like a sign of improved sentiment.

Scary Stories That Weren’t


 The media skipped plenty of opportunities to spread fear and gloom Monday—a telling sign of sentiment.

All Quiet on the Record High Front


What can we glean from the media’s lack of attention to the market’s recent record highs?

The Eurozone’s Emerging Market Emerges, and Other Fun Q3 GDP Factoids


The common reaction to eurozone Q3 growth is a sign of the times, sentiment-wise.

Taking Stock of That Great October Buying Opportunity


With the S&P 500 back at all-time highs, we look back at sentiment surrounding October's dip.

A Mixed Reaction to S&P 3635.71


The S&P 500 reaching 2000 tells us more about investor sentiment than where the index is headed next.  

Oddly Calculated, Bizarrely Inflation-Adjusted Thing Says Stocks Are Overvalued


Yellen About Valuations


Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen sees some froth in equity markets—should investors be concerned?

May’s Employment Report: A Snapshot of Sentiment


What can we glean from May’s employment report?

Data Galore, Switching Sentiment


Data can be pretty dull, but we doubt that’s the only reason headlines avoided it this week.

Mean Reversion and Other Mathematical Fairy Tales


How high is too high for stocks?

Dissecting Germany’s GDP


How should we interpret Germany’s Q4 2013 GDP?

Stretched Sentiment


Investor sentiment seems stuck in a tug-of-war between skepticism and optimism.

A Skeptical Pull


After a stellar 2013 saw optimism grow by the close, 2014’s rocky start has brought more skeptics into the light. What does it mean for stocks moving forward?

Volatility and Manufacturing


Headlines about US and Chinese manufacturing reports seemed to rankle investors Monday, but the actual data reports were benign.

The Return of the Retail Investor


It seems the average investor’s appreciation of stocks might be picking up these days—in response, the media’s claiming both doom and boom for markets ahead.

Confidence is Sentimental


Investor sentiment has seemingly shifted back to grinding skepticism recently, but that’s not necessarily bad.

Underestimated Financials


Years after the financial crisis, investors are still ignoring Financials’ improving health—but that’s not necessarily bad.

Bull Steam Ahead


Volatility can be pretty volatile sometimes—what does that mean for markets?

Smokin’ Hot!


Economic growth has been smokin’ lately, yet some still fear there is a fire to put out.

There Is No Bear There


Three flawed theses supporting a bearish outlook.

The Bizarro World of QE Taper Fears


As folks realize their QE tapering fears are false, their relief should propel stocks higher.

‘Whatever It Takes,’ One Year Later


One year ago, ECB chief Mario Draghi said he’d do “whatever it takes” to save the euro. How did he do?

The Bull Market Drama Continues


While few investors enjoy volatility, it’s commonplace amid bull markets—don’t let short-term swings scare you out of markets.

Eyes on Syria and Turkey


Ongoing violence in Syria and protests in Turkey have heightened tensions in the Middle East, but history shows these situations, while unfortunate, have fleeting impact on stocks.

Assessing Acrophobia


As several popular indexes have surpassed their past peaks recently, market acrophobia—fear of heights—seems to have increased dramatically. But bull markets don’t share our earthbound proclivities.

Market May I?


Markets don’t move on Mayan calendars, astronomy or folklore—so we have a hard time seeing why they should move just because it’s May.

The Spring Swoon’s Swan Song?


April’s unemployment report should quell some skeptics’ spring swoon fears.

#Tweet #Retreat


The blame for this week’s “tweet retreat” has been pinned on high frequency trading and the need for more regulation to smooth out such volatility. But for long-term, goal-oriented investors, some reflection on the last “flash crash” should give pause for consideration.

America Forever?


US stocks have been leading lately, but don’t forget the benefits of a global focus.

Resilience and Resolve


Markets have undoubtedly challenged investors’ patience recently—but in our view, such markets require resolve, particularly considering extant underlying economic resilience.

Japan, One Year Later


One year after the Great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese economy is displaying its resilience.

The Grass Is Greener Than Many Think


Friday’s US Q4 2011 GDP report showed growth continued—and accelerated for the third quarter in a row.

January Jonesing


With January’s returns positive thus far, the “January effect” seems to have vanished from consciousness.

Red Hot Black Friday


Strong Q3 earnings and record-high Black Friday sales illustrate the disconnect between sentiment and reality.

Counting Candy (and Earnings)


US companies are on track for eight straight quarters of earnings growth.

Don’t Bank on the Big Bang


Germany tempered the world’s expectations for an overnight eurozone fix, keeping with the gradual approach we’ve seen thus far.

Planfully Planning a Plan


Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have a plan to keep the eurozone intact, but they won’t share it until month’s end. 

Rhetorical Recapitalization


Eurozone finance ministers announced an agreement on Tuesday targeting the banking sector.

Incremental Positives


Though most recent news has a negative slant, there are incremental positives out there—even if they’re largely overlooked.

A European Update


Though the media’s focused on US developments, the bigger news is in Europe. While problems do exist in Europe, fears seemingly exceed reality—much like in the US.

Volatility, Continued


Stocks seesawed wildly Tuesday, finishing the day solidly in the black.

Veritable Volatility


Markets continued their roller coaster ride Friday but basically ended flat—a useful illustration of recent market action in general and one reason to avoid knee-jerk reactions to uncomfortable volatility.

Ceilings and Seesaws


Even if Congress passes a debt ceiling extension, don’t expect markets to sound the “all clear.”

The Politics of Fear


White-hot, fear-based rhetoric is flying around the debt ceiling as politicians try to sell their positions. And, some links.

Reading Chinese Tea Leaves


Bifurcated sentiment about China’s economic present and future speaks largely to overall sentiment in 2011—but how to read the tea leaves when truly assessing China?

Fisher Investments on What Casey Anthony, News of the World and Apple’s iPhone 5 Mean for Markets


Three stories dominated headlines Thursday—all of them outside financial news. What does that say for markets?

A Rising Sun


The impact of Japan’s earthquake, which has recently dampened global growth rates, appears to be abating.

The Great Expectations Gap


The gap between expectations and reality is a vitally important area for investors to consider.

A Grueling Hike


Though global stocks aren’t yet down 10% from their peak, this pullback has some characteristics of a correction.

Foggy Financials


Though regulatory uncertainty is troubling Financials shares, banks are healthier than most think.

What Bubble Hunters Miss


Hunting bubbles is a popular pastime these days, but is it timely?

Mending Lending


A new Fed survey shows banks are healthier and lending is improving, but profit margins may be squeezed awhile longer.

Greek Theater


The PIIGS spotlight swings back to Greece amid talks of Greek debt restructuring.

Checking the Inner Gut Strategist


Economic growth and positive market returns continued in Q1 2011. But what of investor sentiment?

Who Loves Toxic Waste?


The US Treasury plans to sell $142 billion of mortgage-backed securities bought in 2008—the latest example of the government profiting from financial panic intervention.

What Portugal Portends


European banking and debt woes are a ways off from a more permanent resolution, and as politicians work on refining one, transparency and clarity are advisable.

Egyptian Unrest


Tensions in Egypt escalated over the weekend as riots continued—but global economic fundamentals remain strong.

Blues’ Clues?

Subdued US blue chips earnings reports shouldn't surprise—nor necessarily disappoint.

A Round of Thanks

MarketMinder is thankful for a quite a few things this year.

Getting Hibernia Out of Hock

Ireland moved closer to a bailout Thursday—and while the media fretted, markets cheered.

It’s USA. Not USSA.

Friday's US unemployment report showed little improvement in the jobless rate—but it did reveal a smaller government payroll, adding further evidence recent socialism fears were (and are) overblown.

Credit Where Credit's Due

The US corporate debt default rate is down dramatically and now expected to fall further to pre-financial crisis levels.

Deconstructing a Wall of Worry

Announcements and data have recently done an excellent job of countering common fears. Monday was no exception.

Getting a Grip on Bonds

Bonds may feel safe relative to stocks, but there can be drawbacks—sometimes significant.

Hungry Bears

Slowing economic statistics are bringing out the bears. But we don't think they've got much to chew on.    

A Chicken Little Sort of Day?

Is the sky really falling, or are other forces playing a role in stocks' recent pullback?

We’re Not Out of the PIIGS Pen, Yet

Though Greece continues to rattle, market jitters over PIIGS could be short-lived.


"Crisis” has worked its way into our lexicon all too frequently in the recent past—so frequently that its meaning has been lost.

LIBOR and TED’s Bogus Journey

Upticks in interbank borrowing rates are alarming some—but rates remain near historic lows.

C’est Un Bazooka

The EU unleashed a bazooka-sized rescue package on Sunday.

Remind Me

Amid recent stock market volatility, it's easy to forget why this bull market will continue. Allow us to jog your memory.

Gold’s Safety Blanket Myth

Gold can be emotionally comforting when markets get volatile, but it boasts poor long-term returns compared to stocks.

Simmer Down Over Corporate Bonds

Sentiment may be shaking the corporate bond market right now, but companies' prospects are largely robust.

A Tale of Two Surveys

Friday's employment report might seem a mixed bag, but it shows progress overall.

Pessimism of Disbelief

Sad news is everywhere, but don't believe everything you read.

Correct Correction Behavior

After a strong bull market run, a correction this year wouldn't be surprising and shouldn't be feared.


What are the experts saying about 2010? And what should investors do about it?

The Show Will Go On

A single piece of news virtually never accounts for daily market movement. 

Ignoring the Itch

Jittery markets make for itchy trigger fingers.

Bedtime Stories to Scare Investors

CIT's bankruptcy filing is a story reminiscent of last year's financial horrors—one with less power to move markets.

Fall Classic

The global stock rally busted many investing myths so far this year, but don't expect universal acknowledgment any time soon.

A Strong Second Six

As earnings season looms, stocks should continue their "V” recovery, with sentiment outweighing fundamentals.

What’s Brewing in Germany

The German parliament is set to shift toward a business-friendly, center-right majority. But the status quo, not significant change, is probably what's brewing.

Wading Back In

A year after financial panic sent investors fleeing, risk appetite is on the rise again.

Misleading Milestones

Investors would do well to ignore silly, numerical milestones.

Trial by Volatility

Pullbacks are to be expected during market recoveries.

Fear of Heights

Markets don't adhere to humans' preference for moderation.

Choose Rubber

Stocks continue to stage a massive rally—despite plenty of bad news.

Throwback to High-Waters

With stocks down considerably from their high-water mark, it's hard not to wonder how long it'll take to get back there.

Too Fast, Too Furious?

Some traditional stock valuation metrics are quickly approaching long-term averages. But compared to investment alternatives, stocks are still very cheap.

This Little Piggy

Investors reacting to swine flu fears is an example of markets trading on sentiment, not fundamentals.

Blind Date

Investor reactions to first-quarter earnings reports will be a function of expectations.

China’s Economic Game Plan

Regardless of what was or not said, Premier Wen's speech reaffirmed the Chinese government's commitment to support economic growth.

A One-Two Punch

Stock prices dropped today on dour news from the banking and economic fronts.

Tomorrow Is a New Day

Our sights are set on the future, but it's tough to cast off the anchor of ‘08.

Fear Strikes Financials, Again

Fear strikes Financials—again!

Little Meaning in the Muck

Today's volatility is sometimes hard to fathom—but some of it is surely due to existing non-fundamental pressures.

Invest for the Future, Not the Present

During economic downturns, many wait for signs of recovery before investing. But investment decisions based on today's news only puts investors behind.

Monsters Under the Bed

New data is helping to bring the CDS market out of the shadows.

Monday’s Swing

To put it lightly, this Monday was a nice change of pace.

An Uncertain Panic

Markets proved volatile as governments around the world took action

Fate Accompli

For months, the fates of Fannie and Freddie seemed uncertain. Now, the federal takeover is a fait accompli.

Survey Says

Sentiment-based surveys almost never capture the complete picture.

Earnings Expectations

Earnings season is proving to be a bumpy ride, but good news exists.

Time to Go to the Bull Pen?

Sector weightings are one of the key drivers of portfolio performance. Knowing when to make adjustments is vital to performance over time.

Fine for Me, But Not for Thee

Most Americans feel terrible about the US economy—but it's everyone else's economy they hate, not their own.

Mark It to Market?

Freddie and Fannie may be proxies for Financials woes in many ways, including in the distortions of mark-to-market accounting.

Pessimistic Prognosticators Aplenty

Those in the financial industry are overwhelmingly bearish. Is there legitimate reason for their pessimism, or do the current troubles within their industry skew their views?

Of Whipsaws and Rumors

Fears over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's failing health sent Financials and the broader market reeling, but a closer analysis shows rumors of pending regulation were greatly exaggerated.


Market volatility continued in the second quarter. But volatility is normal, and shouldn't much matter to long-term investors—unless they panic.

Oxymoronic Growth

That so many want to classify the economy today as being in recession is probably more a function of dour sentiment than economic reality.

Market Volatility and You

Thursday's market delivered another drubbing to investors. A third test of recent market lows surely proves tried and true investment disciplines no longer work, right? Wrong!

What’s the Deal?

Mergers and acquisitions activity remains strong these days, a sign things aren't as bad as some folks assume.

Hanging Tough…Over and Out!

Many worry today's market volatility is because the world's more perilous than ever. Truth is, there's never a dull moment. Hang tough!

Brave New World

Some folks think a slowing global economy means less demand for energy and, eventually, lower oil prices. But slow economic growth is still growth, and the world will demand more oil, not less.

Freaky Friday

A pre-weekend panic sent stocks reeling, but the news that triggered the storm might not be so bad upon further inspection.

What Wealth Effect?


Folks fearing the weak housing market will dampen consumer spending shouldn't worry—consumer spending tracks disposable income, not home equity.

Bye-Bye Bear Stearns

The approval of Bear Stearns' sale to JPMorgan turned out to be a snooze-fest, revealing the true shallowness of the so-called financial crisis.

Kicking the Habit

Headlines declaring a credit crisis and subprime fears are muted at present, and that's bullish.


After a market drop, investors can be tempted to sell out when they reach a breakeven point. But this temptation is best ignored—sales strategies based on arbitrary points in time hinder investment returns.

Over the Troubles and Out of the Woods?

Recent economic data and media analysis have folks asking, "Is the worst over, or is the next shoe about to drop?”

Analyzing Analysts’ Analysis

Analysts play an important role in capital markets' evolution. However, their end result—ratings, estimates and price targets—should be taken with a grain of salt.

The Good, the Bad, and the Not So Bad

Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony on Wednesday seemingly supports calls for recession in 2008. Scaling the problems reveals slower growth, but a recession remains unlikely.

Confidence Confusion

New data shows consumers have the blues. Will stocks follow their wallowing?

Goldilocks Government

A "Goldilocks” government solution—just the right amount of government intervention and regulation—in economic markets is merely a fairytale.

Whoa-oh, Domino?

The sale of Bear Stearns marks an appropriate action from the Fed, not the beginning of the end for stocks.

A Confidence Game

Today's market turbulence probably had more to do with market confidence (or lack thereof) than substance.

Just Four Things

Ignore short-term market swings and investor fears and focus on what the market's likeliest to do going forward—only one of four possible scenarios.

America for Sale

Fears surrounding foreign governments' investments in US firms is unwarranted. Capital is capital—the freer it flows the better.

Nothing New

Stocks took a walloping today on widely expected news tied to Financials' health and mortgage-related asset write-downs.

The Fed’s Show and Tell

The Fed plans on communicating more regularly with the American public, which is nice, but we believe won't ease volatility or make forecasting markets any less difficult.

Lenders on the Block

As two troubled Financials firms prepare to go on the auction block, note they are getting bought out by other Financials firms. The sector isn't as imperiled as it may appear.

Junk Bonds and Green Skies

Predictions about rising bond default rates seem too dour and highly unlikely.

A Hundred Bucks a Barrel

Headlines are making much of oil's new milestone, but price milestones are meaningless and tell us nothing about the economy or market direction.

Recession Confusion

Headlines, polls, feelings—none of these are good indicators of a coming recession. Instead, you must look at the hard data to know if we're in recession.

Groundhog Day 2008

Many of the market gurus have made their 2008 stock market predictions. Before making your own, we'd advise some critical thinking and skepticism.

You Call that Volatility?

There's nothing unusual or alarming about recent market volatility. Though we may not remember it this way, market volatility is normal and should be expected.

Odds On

Those looking for the "odds” of a recession are barking up the wrong tree. Economies are not games of chance.

The Willie Loman Effect

The newest rationale to be bearish is possibly the silliest yet: A vicious cycle-induced recession.

But Wait, There’s More

America's and Europe's central banks have coordinated in an innovative way to make capital available to troubled banks, which highlights the variety of liquidity sources available today for banks.

MarketMinder’s Letter to Santa

As 2007 draws to a close, we consider just a few of the market conditions that could help fuel a continued global equity bull market.

The Exclusionary Economy (Everyone but Me!)

As sentiment plunges toward multi-year lows, positive economic news continues to flow in—a uniquely bullish scenario for stocks.

Earnings Breather Not a Bear Harbinger

Reported US corporate earnings are weak so far in the third quarter, but a close look at the numbers and proper perspective reveals this doesn't signal a new bear market.

Same Old Song and Dance

Two days of stock market weakness spawned resurgence in well-worn fears…and little more.

Ghost of October Past

Similarities between today and October 1987 abound. But for as many superficial similarities the media highlights, there are as many or more fundamental differences.

The Real Risks

Sensational headlines about subprime woes, a weak dollar, the "credit crisis,” etc., distract investors from seeing legitimate market risks. But never fear—the risks we identify here are unlikely to develop into major market negatives at this point.

October Horrors

Is another Black Monday waiting for investors this October? Probably not, but expect to see endless headlines warning of coming trouble tied to the 20th anniversary.

Peeling the Onion

When media gloom disengages from positive economic reality (like today), it's usually a great time to buy stocks.

They’d Rather Be in the Casket

A recent survey shows folks fear an impending credit crunch more than the specter of terrorism. Meanwhile, T-bill rates are climbing back toward the Fed Funds rate—both very bullish signals.

Sentimental Silliness

Investors are too flaky to bank on short-term shifts in sentiment.

Best Credit Crunch Ever!

Catcalls for a world economy in crisis on fears of the supposed credit crunch are getting sillier by the day as hard evidence of stability and strength piles on.

Jump the Shark

Has the market jumped the shark? Tune in to find out.

Pray for Panic

Pray for more investor panic. Bigger panic leads to bigger bounces.

Corrective Measures

Our daddies told us there'd be days like this. The S&P 500 took a whooping today, capping what's been a tumultuous couple weeks in the market. But don't let a few days' frightening downside volatility scare you away from stocks just yet.

Wall of Worries

Markets climb a wall of worry, but how can investors tell worries to ignore from legitimate worries?

Contronym Investing

If you ask the financial press, stock market investors have been "euphoric" over the last year.

The Inquiry Culture

When stocks go down, people start blaming each other.

Going Postal

SAT analogy question pop quiz: Postal Service is to Japan as _________ is to the United States.

A Bull Market Sell-Off

We wrote last week that the US stock market was on its longest run without a daily 2% decline since 1954.

If CEOs Don't, Investors Will Do It For Them

Stocks are cheap and they need to get more expensive.

With a Little Bit of Time…

Stocks are riskier than bonds, right? We're not trying to trick you.

Overseas Opportunity

We're outright bullish on stocks for 2007.

A Balance Sheet to Die For

Have a look at the balance sheet below.

Burning Questions; Scorched Investors

The WSJ Online recently held an online survey to answer this burning question: "What proportion of your holiday gift spending did you do online this year?" The results? As of December 26th:
  • 31% of shoppers do 75% to 100% of their shopping online
  • 24% of shoppers do 50% to 75% of their shopping online
  • 15% of shoppers do 25% to 50% of their shopping online
  • 30% of shoppers do less than 25% of their shopping online
So, according to the survey, over 70% of people do some shopping online for the holidays, and well over half do more than 50% of their shopping online! Given such strong numbers, we ought to go out and buy up all the internet retailers like Amazon and ebay, right? Maybe.

Contrary About Contrarians

It's that time of year again.

Skyscraper of Worry

A common adage among fellow behavioral finance devotees is "bull markets climb a wall of worry".

Much to Be Thankful For

We're a little lethargic from all the turkey and fixings yesterday.

Fears for Facts… Blowout Sale!

We're trading fears for facts! Come on down and trade in some of those jalopy-like worries you've been holding on to and drive a spanking new piece of data off the lot today! Fear of a recession? Trade it in for positive GDP data for no money down! Inflation fears? We've got a low headline inflation rate just waiting for you! We're so sure you'll love these facts once you've taken them for a test drive, you'll trade in your fears for good!
  • Global GDP continues to outpace analyst forecasts and remains above average levels.

What, Me Worry?


Here are three facts:1. The German economy is growing at its fastest rate since 2000.2. German investor confidence is at its lowest level in more than 13 years, according to the ZEW survey.3. The German DAX stock index is up over 19% this year (in USD).

Industrials Revolution?

We've noticed a lot of press lauding recent all-time highs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

I'm OK, You're OK (and We're Both US Consumers)

Psychologist Thomas Harris wrote a book called I'm OK, You're OK in 1976 explaining his theory on how we perceive ourselves and others.


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