Consumer nervousness over their stock portfolios is reaching an apex, which actually could mean good news for the market in the long run.
The most recent Conference Board consumer confidence survey, delivered Tuesday morning, contained an interesting nugget about worry over the state of equities.
The report found that the percentage of those who believe stock prices are going to fall shot up from 32.4 percent to 42.6 percent.
The 10.2 percentage point surge represents something of a landmark.
Looking at data back to 1987, there have been only seven occasions where the rise in stock market fortunes has eclipsed 10 percentage points in a month.
On six of those occasions, the Standard & Poor's 500 has gained after six months, with the average return at 10.2 percent, according to research from Bespoke Investment Group.
Add the Conference Board survey, then, to the list of reliable contrarian market signals.
"I would like to see more negative sentiment. Then the market goes up," says Nadav Baum, executive vice president at BPU Investment Management in Pittsburgh. "We're stuck in a trading range...You need to get that pessimism on the retail retail side to get the market to break out of the range."Page 1 of 3 | Next Page