Bulls Run From Volatility - TheStreet

Bulls Run From Volatility

Stock market volatility is too much for the bulls to bear, according to our latest sentiment survey.
Publish date:

Updated from 5 a.m. EDT



) -- The outlook is bearish this week as our sentiment survey finds volatility in the stock market too much for the bulls to bear, so to speak.

Coming off the Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. and after the worst month in more than a year, poll participants who were bearish tallied 44.9%, or 668 of the 1,489 votes cast as of 7:20 a.m. Tuesday in the TheStreet.com's RealMoney Barometer Poll. Bulls scored 594 votes, or 39.9% of the total, while survey-takers who were neutral racked up 227 votes, or 15.2% of the total.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 1.2% on Friday, the

S&P 500

dipped 1.2% and


finished 1% lower after Spain's debt rating was downgraded by Fitch. It's those pesky debt problems in Europe that have investors remaining wary about what effect they might have on growth in the U.S.

The Dow ended the week down 0.6%, capping off its worst May since 1962.

Premarket futures suggest more downside Tuesday when U.S. stock markets open.

In Europe, stocks were lower. The FTSE in London fell 2.1%, brought down by shares of


(BP) - Get Report

after the oil company said its

"top-kill" operation

to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico had failed. BP shares were lower by about 13%.

Asian markets finished lower Tuesday. The Nikkei in Japan dropped 0.6% while the Hang Seng in Hong kong dropped 1.4%.

Precious metals was seen by poll participants as the sector most likely to rise, while the commercial banks sector was viewed as the most likely to decline.

There are only a few notable earnings reports this week from the likes of homebuilder

Hovnanian Enterprises

(HOV) - Get Report

and mining equipment company

Joy Global


, but economic data out of the U.S., particularly nonfarm payrolls on Friday, will be uppermost in investors' minds.

> > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll

The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.

Here's a wrap-up of our other polls:

President Obama spoke for the second consecutive day about the BP oil spill on Friday, after completing his "on the ground" in the Gulf region photo op, kneeling on a Louisiana beach to inspect a tar ball while U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thad Allen explained to Obama in intricacies of the widening environmental disaster.

President Obama added a gloss less emphasized in his Thursday White House press conference remarks when he spoke from the Gulf region on Friday, noting the "assault on our shores, our people, our regional economies and communities. People's livelihoods are washing up on the beach," the President said.

On Thursday, the biggest head yet "rolled" in the BP oil spill crisis, when the head of the Interior Department's much-criticized Minerals Management Service resigned, and wrote in her resignation letter that she hoped the Interior Department would have success fixing the problems that she "inherited." Also this week, several oil executives and government officials used fifth amendment rights to not incriminate themselves and medical notes from doctors to get out of testifying at the contentious BP oil spill hearings in New Orleans.

And so another week in the blame game otherwise known as "the worst oil spill in U.S. history" ended, and as Americans prepared themselves for the first summer holiday weekend of the season, the President found himself in the odd position of pleading with vacationing citizens to visit the Gulf Coast beaches.

It all raised the question: Should BP CEO Tony Hayward, or Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, face the firing line if the BP oil spill continues to overwhelm efforts from BP and the government? Thus, we asked



Which BP executive or Obama administration official should be fired over the BP oil spill?

The big takeaway? A majority of responses matched the Gallup finding, with 37% of survey takers saying that no one should be fired in either the government or at BP because it would do nothing to help the oil spill containment and cleanup effort.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our BP oil spill poll

With investors still frustrated at


(GOOG) - Get Report

withdrawal from the world's largest Internet market, fears of possible euro-zone related headwinds, and the FTC's approval of the AdMob deal,


wanted to gauge what investors were feeling about the stock.

We asked if our reader were more inclined to buy Google, hold Google or sell Google? And the response we received was overwhelmingly Bullish in favor of Google.

Of those who responded to the survey, a full 75.4% said they have a buy opinion on the stock, 16.5% said they had a hold opinion on the stock and 8.1% had a sell view on the stock.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our Google stock poll


(WMT) - Get Report

price cut on


(AAPL) - Get Report

iPhone signals a new version of the device is on its way -- at least, that is, according to



The discount giant announced earlier in the week that it will cut prices on 3GS 16GB iPhones to $97 from $197, with a two-year contract from


(T) - Get Report


In analyzing the price shift, a whopping 93% of voters are betting that this is a move to clear inventory for a 4G version. A mere 7% do not think an iPhone is on the horizon.

The results of the poll are among the most lopsided in the history polling by


. Still, consumer won't officially learn the answer to this question for a few weeks, most likely during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which kicks off on June 7. Last year the iPhone 3GS was unveiled at the conference.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our iPhone poll

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Ty Wenger in New York.