Investors right now are ‘uber-bearish,’ BofA says
It’s a bear stampede on Wall Street.
Bank of America Research analysts said in a report on Thursday that positioning among investors was “uber-bearish,” as stocks continued to take a pummeling.
The investment bank’s Bull & Bear Indicator—which gives a gauge of sentiment among traders—fell to 0.0 on Thursday from 0.3 a week earlier.
The indicator previously ticked down to zero in previous moments of extreme economic anxiety, BofA said. It previously fell to its lowest level in August 2002 (the dotcom bubble bursting), July 2008 (the Great Recession), September 2011 (the European debt crisis), September 2015 (when China’s economy faltered), and March 2020 (the arrival of COVID in the U.S.).
However, they noted that when the indicator has previously hit zero, unless there has been “a double-dip recession (2002) or systemic event (2008/2011), 3-month returns are strong.”
BofA emphasized that its Bull & Bear Indicator is not intended to be used as a benchmark or a measure of performance for any financial instrument or contract.
S&P 500 in a bear market
The S&P 500 officially entered a bear market on June 13, marking the 20th bear market on the index in the past 140 years.
A bear market occurs when a market undergoes prolonged price declines, and generally refers to an index falling 20% lower than its most recent all-time high.
The average duration of a bear market is 289 days, BofA said.
“History is no guide to future performance but if it were, today’s bear market would end on Oct 19, 2022 (35-year anniversary of Black Monday) with the S&P 500 at 3000 [points],” they said, arguing that this would be “good news.”
The average bull market, the report’s authors said, lasted for 64 months with a 198% return, a scenario that would see the S&P 500 reach 6,000 points by February 2028.
The S&P 500 was hovering above the flatline just after 11 a.m. New York time, erasing losses seen earlier in Friday’s session.
The moves on Wall Street rounded out a brutal week of selling across global markets.