ANXIETY about Greece and uncertainty about the timing of higher US interest rates may keep Wall Street on edge early next week, but one ray of hope for investors could be an unusually long streak of ambivalence on Main Street.
Seen by some as a contrarian indicator of future stock market performance, a weekly poll of individual investors showed positive sentiment for stocks remained below average for the 16th straight week despite a solid uptick in optimism.
The last time bullishness in the American Association of Individual Investors’ sentiment survey remained below average for so long was in August 2012.
However, several data points this week will give fresh reads on the health of US consumers in June as the Fed weighs when to put rates up. The strengthening economy suggests the Fed could raise interest rates this year even as inflation remains well below the US central bank’s two per cent target. Many economists expect a rate hike in September.
The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq hit all-time highs in recent months, with markets bouncing back and forth in a limited range since around February as many investors fixate on the Fed.
Trading might be brisker than usual today and tomorrow as some pension funds and mutual funds buy and sell shares to rebalance their portfolios ahead of the end of the quarter.
US markets will be closed on Friday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.