Do investors even believe this stock market? Despite reaping the benefits of the second longest bull market on record, investors seem to hate the rally. Wall Street Journal reporters Akane Otani and Chris Dieterich report:
Rather than celebrating this wealth-generating machine, individual investors have expressed in multiple surveys just how little enthusiasm they have for this stock market. For years, analysts have described an “unloved” or even “hated” stock rally, where prices defiantly rise despite one of the weakest U.S. economic recoveries on record, Washington’s policy sclerosis and geopolitical flashpoints from the Greek debt crisis and Brexit to North Korea’s nuclear threat.
“It is the most disliked bull market of my career,” said John Fox, chief investment officer at Fenimore Asset Management. “No one is excited. This is not like 1999 and 2000, where you went to a bar and CNBC was on TV.”
Survey data indicate that American stock ownership is retreating. Sixty-two percent of Americans reported owning equities, on average, between the fall of the dot-com bubble and the onset of the global financial crisis, between 2001 and 2008, according to a Gallup survey from early 2017. That number shrunk to 54% during the current bull market, from 2009 to 2017.
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