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AAII Sentiment Survey, 2/23/22

I post this weekly series elsewhere. I am posting it here in view of the unusual recent developments. If there is interest in this, I may post it here too from time to time. Sentiment indicators are contrary indicators.

For the week ending on 2/23/22, bearish remained the top sentiment (53.7%; very high; the highest since 4/11/13 when it was 54.5%) & neutral became the bottom sentiment (22.9%; low); bullish became the middle sentiment (23.4%; low). So, the neutral/fence-sitters turned bearish in large numbers. Bull-bear spread (-30.3%) was also the worse only in 2013. In the Survey week (Thursday-Wednesday), the Russia-Ukraine situation went from bad to the worst possible. Russia declared parts of Ukraine "independent" & sent military "peacekeepers" on Monday, & then the war erupted on Wednesday night (Central time). Besides a great human tragedy in the region, this geopolitical crisis will cause further runups in oil and grain prices (a lot of it may have already occurred in the futures markets). This is in addition to the high current inflation & the coming Fed tightening actions (QE-taper ongoing, rate hikes to start in March, balance sheet reduction from mid/late-2022). The debate whether the Fed should be "aggressive" or "moderate" with monetary tightening may have been resolved in the favor of "moderate" in view of the new developments this week.
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