Bulls Not Feeling so Super Anymore

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Since the beginning of the year, bulls have reigned each week in TheStreet's Bull vs. Bear survey. It's the same thing this week as well, but the poll indicates some bearish sentiment has crept into the minds of investors after stocks finished last week mixed.

As of 5 a.m. EST Monday, the survey finds polltakers who were bullish on stocks tallying 220 votes, or 43.5%, of the 506 total votes cast. Bears came in with 191 votes, or 37.7%, while those neutral on stocks this week were at 95 votes, or 18.8%. Last Tuesday (the stock market was closed last Monday because of the Martin Luther King holiday), bulls in the survey were at 68.2%, while bears were at 18.7%.

The commercial banks sector, like last week, was picked as the sector most likely to rise even after Bank of America ( BAC) on Friday posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.2 billion. Bank of America's shares fell 2% Friday to $14.25.

The precious metals sector was forecast to lead decliners. Gold prices are down almost 6% so far in 2011 after slipping modestly Friday.

The Federal Reserve is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday but the focus this week likely will remain on corporate earnings. Heavy-hitters scheduled to report this week include McDonald's ( MCD), Texas Instruments ( TXN) and American Express ( AXP) on Monday; later in the week reports are scheduled from Verizon ( VZ), Boeing ( BA), Caterpillar ( CAT), Amazon.com ( AMZN) and Microsoft ( MSFT).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average notched its eighth straight week of gains last week rising 0.7%. The S&P 500, however, fell 0.7% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq index declined more than 2%.

Premarket futures Monday were suggesting U.S. stocks would open mostly flat.

Asian stocks ended mixed Monday, while European shares at 5 a.m. EST also were trading mixed.

> > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll

The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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