The bull market that began on March 9, 2009 continues at a steady pace. The new wrinkle is that more investors are taking part.
Encouraged by signs of recovery in the job and housing markets, investors began to return to U.S. stock mutual funds at the beginning of the year. Deposits into U.S. stock mutual funds have exceeded withdrawals in nine of 11 weeks so far this year, reversing course from last year. Before that, investors had withdrawn more than they put into U.S. stock funds for 24 consecutive weeks, dating to mid-July.
For most of 2013, optimism among individual investors has been above average. In the most recent weekly survey by the American Association of Individual Investors, 38.4 percent of respondents said they expect stocks to rise over the next six months. That’s nearly identical to the average of 39 percent, dating back to 1987.
Optimism is down from January, when the survey hit its highest level in a year, but is still well above its low from last summer. That was when worries about the European debt crisis were exploding.Associated Press