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AAII Sentiment Survey
(Past Three Months)

Source: American Association of Individual Investors

Bears gravitated toward the bull camp this week, as bullishness jumped to 55.56% from 50% during the week ended Feb. 7, according to the most recent individual investor sentiment survey out Thursday morning from the

American Association of Individual Investors

. Bearishness, meanwhile, fell from 19% for the week ending Jan. 31 to just 14.44% this past week. Bearishness hasn't come in this low in the survey since the week ended Nov. 8, 2000. The neutral camp came in with a reading of 30%, down just slightly from its most recent reading of 30.77%.

The AAII sentiment indicator -- considered a contrarian indicator -- is the latest addition to's

metrics section. It will be featured every Thursday morning.

The survey aims to gauge where investors believe the stock market is going short-term. Investors can register as either "bullish," "bearish," or "neutral." (For a more detailed explanation of the survey, please see the "Why this Metric Matters" box below.)

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Over the last year, this metric has proved to be a fairly reliable contrarian indicator. Indeed, a week ago (for the week ended Jan. 31) the AAII sentiment survey turned decidedly bullish, as 50% of the respondents said they were bullish -- a level of bullishness that was at its highest levels in two months.

As if taunting those results, the Nasdaq promptly fell 8.1% during the week ended Feb. 7. The

S&P 500

was also down for the week, though less so; the


was flat.

Given the survey's recent success, the rising level of bullishness "bears" watching.

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