S&P 500 at Highs, Investors More Bearish Than Ever -- Why?: StockTwits

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As I write this post, the S&P 500 (SPY) is within a whisker of new all-time highs. Again.

Yet the higher the index climbs, the more bearish the general investing public becomes.

Case in point: Derald Muniz shared a chart this morning that shows the trend of investor sentiment -- as measured by the American Association of Invididual Investors (AAII) -- steadily declining throughout 2014.

AAII Bull Weekly chart shows a decline in 2014 $STUDY http://stks.co/c0aMt

? Derald Muniz (@1nvestor) May. 22 at 11:00 AM

Meanwhile, on a more micro level, bearishly tagged messages on StockTwits.com continue to test their highest proportional levels in 6 months:

  Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 9.10.51 AM 

Are investors trying to be too cute, outsmarting themselves? Are they all trying to front-run each other out the exit door? I've seen some extraordinary things in my 16 years in these here stock markets, but this situation is something that is highly unusual.

Cue the "this time is different" chatter!

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