Where Are the U.S. Market Bears?

As the bull market trudges toward its ninth year, “daring, animal spirits and greed have supplanted fear,” and “bears that once roared at any sign of trouble now seldom make a peep.” This according to a recent article in Bloomberg.

Citing findings from a recent survey by the National Association of Active Investment Managers, the article reports that “even the most pessimistic mutual fund overseers are fully invested in stocks,” adding that equity exposure rose to the highest level since 2006.

But that doesn’t mean there are no bears, the article argues, reporting that Bloomberg data going back to 2008 show bearish bets standing at about 4 percent of total U.S. shares, higher than the average 3.8 percent.  Joseph Tanious, a senior investment strategist at Bessemer Trust in Los Angeles, told Bloomberg: “I don’t think the bears have left the market. I just think they’re very quiet after a year like this.”

According to Morgan Stanley, the article says, “unspent money is disappearing from individual brokerage accounts as the rally lures buyers, driving cash levels to a record low.”