All it took was a couple of bad days to send skittish bulls running for the exits. According to the weekly sentiment survey from the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), bullish sentiment plummeted from 41.79 down to 28.39. This was the largest weekly decline since November 2010, and it was the lowest weekly reading since last July.
One unique characteristic of this bull market is the fact that there is very little commitment on the part of investors. With the nightmares of 2000 and 2008 still fresh in their minds, these fair weather bulls are quick to head for the exits at the slightest hint of trouble. This week's drop in sentiment shows that this mentality remains in place. All it took was a drop of less than 3% in the S&P 500 to send a third of bullish investors into the bearish or neutral camp.