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Oil Prices Top Investor Concerns; Housing Market Not So Much, According to TradeKing Survey

Cautious Optimism Persists as Majority of Retail Investors Surveyed Predict S&P Trading Up by Year’s End

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 (, 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.

About TradeKing

TradeKing ( is a nationally licensed online stock and options broker offering simple, low cost online trading fees ($4.95 per trade plus $.65 per option contract).1 A pioneer in integrating new financial social media as part of its innovative online equities, options trading and fixed-income trading platform, TradeKing has received multiple discount broker awards from top industry sources and was rated best in customer service by SmartMoney2 Magazine, ahead of OptionsXpress, Scottrade, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade. (June 2011 SmartMoney Broker Survey).  

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(1)          $4.95 for equity and option trades, add 65 cents per option contract. TradeKing charges an additional $0.35 per contract on certain index products where the exchange charges fees. TradeKing adds $0.01 per share on the entire order for stocks priced less than $2.00. See our Commissions + Fees page at for details on commissions on low-priced stocks, option spreads, and other securities.

(2)          TradeKing was ranked #1 in Customer Service in the SmartMoney June 2011 Broker Survey based on the following categories: Commissions and Fees, Mutual Funds & Investment Products, Banking Services, Trading Tools, Research, and Customer Service. SmartMoney is a registered trademark of SmartMoney, a joint publishing venture between Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Hearst Partnership. Supporting documentation for any claims, comparison, statistics, or other technical data, will be supplied upon request by calling 877-495-5464 or via email at  

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