May 7, 2012
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—May 7, 2012 – According to a recent survey of more than 200 independent retail investors by online broker TradeKing (www.tradeking.com), investors are watching oil prices more closely now than they have in a year, as concerns over international markets, unemployment and quarterly earnings subside slightly. In contrast, when asked about the housing market’s importance in determining their level of investment in the stock market, the vast majority of respondents (91 percent) said only “somewhat” or “not very.”
The survey also showed that, while overall bullishness for the next three months has dipped to 36 percent from 41 percent in January, the majority of investors expect positive year over year market growth with 60 percent of respondents predicting the S&P will be trading up 5-10 percent by year’s end.
The in-house survey was conducted April 27-March 2, 2012 via email to 4,000+ TradeKing clients, with an estimated 95 percent confidence level.
Key Highlights from the Survey
Overall Market Sentiment
· While 36 percent of respondents said they were either “bullish” or “very bullish” on the market for the next three months, the majority of investors (47 percent) still characterized their market outlook as “neutral or not sure.”
· Only 15 percent said they held a “bearish” or “very bearish” outlook, up three points from January, but still down considerably from 2011 survey figures.
· Sixty percent of respondents said they expect the S&P to be trading up between 5-10 percent by year’s end, while 25 percent believe it will be flat, 10 percent believe it will be down 5-10 percent.
Oil Prices Return as Top Trade Trigger, Followed Closely by Quarterly Earnings, U.S. Unemployment Claims and Interest Rates; Investors Still Long on Energy and Technology, Short on Finance and International
· Among investors surveyed, 35 percent ranked oil prices as their top trade trigger to watch for the next three months, marking oil’s first return to the top of investor’s concerns since May of 2011. Quarterly earnings, U.S. unemployment claims and interest rates took a three-way tie for second place with 31 percent of responses.
· When asked to pick the favored sectors for the next three months from a “long” position, respondents once again picked energy and technology as their favorite sectors at 54 and 44 percent, respectively. This quarter, respondents picked the finance and international sectors as having the most potential from a “short” position.
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