The Pulse

Bullishness Returns Despite Inflation & COVID Concerns

Yet many investors believe we’re in bubble territory

New market study from E*TRADE Securities LLC reveals bullish sentiment increased 5 percentage points from last quarter to 59%.

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–E*TRADE Securities LLC today announced results from the most recent wave of StreetWise, the E*TRADE quarterly tracking study of experienced investors. Results include:

  • Bullish sentiment is on the rise. Bullish sentiment increased 5 percentage points from last quarter to 59%. And 62% of investors are more likely to think the market will end in the green this quarter, up 4 percentage points from last quarter.

 

  • And investors believe the economy is in good shape. Two in five (40%) gave the US economy an A or B grade.
  • Yet they see a bubble. Nearly three in four investors (70%) believe we are fully or somewhat in a market bubble.
  • And inflation and coronavirus concerns climb. Inflation concerns (58%) remained the top portfolio risk, up 6 percentage points from last quarter, followed by market volatility (47%), which is up 6 percentage points. COVID concerns (44%) jumped 6 percentage points amid the Omicron surge, rounding out the top three portfolio risks.

“There’s no question that it’s been pretty hard to rattle retail investors since the onset of the pandemic,” said Mike Loewengart, Managing Director of Investment Strategy at E*TRADE. “But with the Fed sounding a more hawkish tone, tightening measures are on the horizon. That’s not to say there isn’t room for growth, but investors need to stay diversified and committed to their long-term goals, if and when the market takes a turn. It’s important to keep in mind that while the Fed is shifting gears, ultimately that translates into a vote of confidence for the economy.”

The survey explored investor views on sector opportunities for the first quarter of 2022:

  • Health care. With COVID cases persisting, investors see opportunity in health care as it took over the top spot with nearly half of investors (46%) interested in the historically defensive sector.
  • IT. Despite the Fed gearing up for rate increases, and the drop in tech stocks to start the year, the IT sector ticked up 3 percentage points from Q4 to 43%.
  • Energy. After a strong 2021, investors continue to be interested in energy (37%), though interest ticked down 7 percentage points from last quarter.

E*TRADE aims to enhance the financial independence of traders and investors through a powerful digital offering and professional guidance. To learn more about E*TRADE’s trading and investing platforms and tools, visit etrade.com.

For useful trading and investing insights from E*TRADE, follow the company on Twitter, @ETRADE.

Referenced Data

And when it comes to the current market are you?

Q1’21

Q2’21

Q3’21

Q4’21

Q1’22

Bullish

57%

61%

65%

54%

59%

Bearish

43%

39%

35%

46%

41%

Where do you predict the market will end this quarter?

Q4’21

Q1’22

Rise

58%

62%

Rise 20%

4%

5%

Rise 15%

10%

7%

Rise 10%

17%

19%

Rise 5%

27%

31%

Stay where it is (0%)

14%

14%

Drop 5%

16%

15%

Drop 10%

10%

6%

Drop 15%

1%

2%

Drop 20%

1%

1%

Drop

28%

24%

What grade would you give the current state of the U.S. economy right now?

Q1’22

Top 2 Box

40%

A

14%

B

26%

C

36%

D

17%

F

7%

Do you think current stock valuations would suggest that right now we are…

Q1’22

Top 2 Box

70%

Fully in a market bubble

23%

In somewhat of a market bubble

47%

Approaching a market bubble

22%

Not close to a market bubble

8%

Which of the following risks are you most concerned about when it comes to your portfolio? (Top four)

Q4’21

Q1’22

Inflation

52%

58%

Market volatility

41%

47%

Coronavirus and other pandemic concerns

38%

44%

Supply chain constraints

38%

36%

Recession

38%

35%

US trade tensions

28%

29%

Current presidential administration

31%

29%

Fed monetary policy

24%

26%

Economic weakness abroad

31%

25%

Gridlock in Washington

30%

24%

Job market

24%

24%

The yield curve

13%

13%

None of these

3%

3%

Other

1%

1%

What industries do you think offer the most potential this quarter? (Top Three)

Q4’21

Q1’22

Health care

40%

46%

Information technology

40%

43%

Energy

44%

37%

Real estate

31%

32%

Financials

28%

30%

Utilities

24%

24%

Consumer staples

23%

22%

Communication services

19%

21%

Industrials

18%

17%

Materials

19%

17%

Consumer discretionary

15%

12%

 

 

 

About the Survey
This wave of the survey was conducted from January 3 to January 11 of 2022 among an online US sample of 901 self-directed active investors who manage at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.20 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It was fielded and administered by Dynata. The panel is broken into thirds of active (trade more than once a week), swing (trade less than once a week but more than once a month), and passive (trade less than once a month). The panel is 60% male and 40% female, with an even distribution across online brokerages, geographic regions, and age bands.

 

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