Investor Sentiment Dims Amid Inflation Concerns

Bullish sentiment continues to decline among individual investors as inflation remains elevated. According to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment survey, optimism about the stock market’s short-term outlook decreased for the second consecutive week. Currently, 43.4% of respondents express optimism, compared to 47.3% and 50% in the previous two weeks. Conversely, bearish sentiment rose to 24% from last week’s 22.2%. Neutral sentiments also increased to 32.5% this week, up from 30.5% the previous week.

The recent consumer inflation report, which exceeded economists’ expectations by climbing 0.4% in March, dampened hopes for near-term Federal Reserve rate cuts. Analyst James Kostohryz suggests that barring significant disruptions like a war or oil supply crisis, there’s little justification for rate cuts before October 2024. However, President Joe Biden maintains his prediction of Fed rate cuts by year-end.

Market futures for the Nasdaq, S&P, and Dow edged higher on Thursday despite recent declines. The S&P 500 (SP500) fell nearly 1% over the past week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) declined over 1%, and the NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 0.6%. The NASDAQ 100 Index saw a decline of 0.8%.

In the cryptocurrency and commodities markets, Bitcoin USD (BTC-USD) rose 4% since last Thursday, while Gold increased by nearly 3%. Gold futures achieved another record high settlement on Tuesday before experiencing a slight pullback on Wednesday.

Featured Image: Freepik

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