E*TRADE Study Reveals Bullish Sentiment Cools amid Positive Economic Indicators

While the economy continues to produce positive headlines, bullish sentiment among investors retreated slightly from Q1 peaks.

NEW YORK--()--E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ETFC) today announced results from the most recent wave of StreetWise, E*TRADE’s quarterly tracking study of experienced investors. Results indicate that positive investor sentiment has leveled off from the previous quarter:

  • Bullish sentiment is at 63 percent, decreasing two percentage points from Q1’17 highs.
  • Slightly more than half of investors believe the market will rise five percent or more this quarter, down five percentage points from Q1’17.
  • Investors remain most likely to choose “Easy Rider” as the movie title that best describes their views of the market.
  • More than three out of five investors continue to believe the U.S. economy is healthy enough for additional rate hikes this quarter, down one percentage point from the previous quarter.

In this sustained bull market, a pullback or correction is never out of the question,” commented Mike Loewengart, VP of Investment Strategy at E*TRADE Financial. “With the Fed planning to reduce their balance sheet, while suggesting more hikes may be on the way, coupled with the legislative uncertainty around several policy reforms, investors may be lowering their expectations, if only to reflect if the market is peaking or gearing up for another run.”

The survey also explored where investors feel potential investment opportunities may be this quarter. Mr. Loewengart offered insight into those identified:

  • International equities. Talk of the Trump Trade (i.e., bullish trades in sectors that stand to benefit from President Trump's proposed policies) has dominated U.S. markets, but investors appear to be turning their gaze to international equities. While investors still favor domestic markets, interest in both developed international and emerging markets rose this quarter amid attractive valuations and uncertainty in the U.S.
  • Information technology. Investor interest in information technology surged 12 percentage points from the previous quarter, and is now the sector that investors believe offers the most potential this quarter. While IT performance struggled in the aftermath of the election, market observers are pointing to strong fundamentals and robust consumer demand.
  • Energy. While the energy sector started the year as one of the worst performing sectors, its recent resurgence has investors taking note, amid a tightening of international supplies and profit growth expectations ahead of earnings. Although interest in the sector declined from Q1, surveyed investors still believe it offers potential this quarter.

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About the Survey

This wave of the survey was conducted from April 1 to April 10 of 2017 among an online U.S. sample of 958 self-directed active investors who manage at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.18 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It was fielded and administered by Research Now. The panel is broken into thirds of active (trade more than once a week), swing (trade less than once a week but more than once a month), and passive (trade less than once a month). The panel is 60 percent male and 40 percent female with an even distribution across online brokerages, geographic regions, and age bands.

Referenced Data

 
When it comes to the current market are you?
  Q2’17 Q1’17 Q4’16 Q3’16 Q2'16
Bullish 63% 65% 55% 55% 61%
Bearish 37% 35% 45% 45% 39%
 

If you had to pick a movie title that best describes how you personally feel about the market right now, which would it be?

  Q2'17 Q1'17 Q4'16 Q3'16 Q2'16
Easy Rider 25% 23% 26% 17% 20%
Dazed and Confused 19% 21% 30% 40% 31%
Singin' in the Rain 18% 17% 11% 9% 13%
Raging Bull 15% 16% 7% 5% 6%
Pulp Fiction 10% 11% 12% 12% 12%
Jackass 7% 4% 6% 5% 6%
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 4% 5% 6% 8% 8%
Apocalypse Now 2% 2% 3% 4% 4%
 
How do you predict the market will end this quarter?

(Question asked beginning in Q1’16)

  Q2’17 Q1’17 Q4’16 Q3’16 Q2’16
Rise 55% 60% 54% 41% 59%
Rise 20% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1%
Rise 15% 4% 3% 2% 1% 2%
Rise 10% 13% 13% 8% 5% 9%
Rise 5% 38% 43% 44% 34% 47%
Stay basically where it is 23% 18% 22% 28% 21%
Drop 5% 16% 17% 19% 24% 16%
Drop 10% 4% 4% 4% 6% 4%
Drop 15% 2% 1% 1% 1% 0%
Drop 20% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Drop 22% 22% 24% 31% 20%
 
Is the U.S. economy healthy enough for the Fed to enact additional rate hikes this quarter?
  Q2’17 Q1’17 Q4’16 Q3’16 Q2’16
Agree (Top 2 Box) 62% 63% 53% 33% 41%
Strongly agree 16% 15% 12% 6% 9%
Somewhat agree 46% 48% 41% 27% 32%
Neither agree nor disagree 26% 23% 27% 30% 29%
Somewhat disagree 10% 12% 15% 28% 20%
Strongly disagree 2% 2% 5% 9% 10%
Disagree (Bottom 2 Box) 12% 14% 20% 37% 30%
 
The health of the markets outside the U.S. appeals to me as an investor this quarter.
  Q2’17 Q1’17 Q4’16 Q3’16 Q2’16
Agree (Top 2 Box) 50% 43% 40% 33% 44%
Strongly agree 12% 10% 12% 8% 11%
Somewhat agree 38% 33% 28% 25% 33%
Neither agree nor disagree 29% 28% 28% 21% 21%
Somewhat disagree 16% 24% 25% 31% 26%
Strongly disagree 5% 5% 7% 15% 9%
Disagree (Bottom 2 Box) 21% 29% 32% 46% 35%
 
I am more likely to invest abroad than domestically this quarter
  Q2’17 Q1’17 Q4’16 Q3’16 Q2’16
Agree (Top 2 Box) 29% 26% 27% 18% 19%
Strongly agree 7% 6% 6% 4% 7%
Somewhat agree 22% 20% 21% 14% 12%
Neither agree nor disagree 26% 26% 25% 23% 24%
Somewhat disagree 31% 33% 32% 36% 35%
Strongly disagree 14% 15% 16% 23% 22%
Disagree (Bottom 2 Box) 45% 48% 48% 59% 57%
 
What industries do you think offer the most potential this quarter? (Top three)
  Q2'17 Q1'17 Q4'16 Q3'16 Q2'16
Information technology 46% 34% 50% 44% 51%
Energy 45% 53% 46% 43% 48%
Financials 39% 46% 32% 25% 29%
Health care 39% 42% 45% 54% 56%
Industrials 28% 29% 17% 16% 19%
Telecommunication services 24% 19% 27% 26% 24%
Utilities 23% 22% 25% 31% 17%
Consumer staples 20% 18% 27% 30% 27%
Materials 20% 20% 14% 16% 14%
Consumer discretionary 15% 16% 17% 15% 17%

About E*TRADE Financial and Important Notices

E*TRADE Financial and its subsidiaries provide financial services including online brokerage and banking products and services to retail customers. Securities products and services, including ETFs, are offered by E*TRADE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC) and OptionsHouse (Member FINRA/SIPC/NFA). Managed Account Solutions are offered through E*TRADE Capital Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Bank products and services are offered by E*TRADE Bank, a Federal savings bank, Member FDIC, or its subsidiaries. More information is available at www.etrade.com.

The information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

E*TRADE Financial, E*TRADE, the E*TRADE logo, and OptionsHouse are trademarks or registered trademarks of E*TRADE Financial Corporation. ETFC-G

© 2017 E*TRADE Financial Corporation. All rights reserved.

E*TRADE Financial Corporation and Research Now are separate companies that are not affiliated. E*TRADE Financial Corporation engages Research Now to program, field, and tabulate the study.

About Research Now

Research Now Group, Inc. is a global leader in digital research data for better insights and business decisions. The company provides world-class research data solutions that enable better decisions and better results for its 3,000 market research, consulting, media, and corporate clients through access to over 11 million deeply-profiled business professionals and consumers in more than 40 countries. Research Now operates globally with locations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, and is recognized as the quality, scale, and customer satisfaction leader in the market research industry. For more information, please go to www.researchnow.com.

Contacts

E*TRADE Media Relations
646-521-4418
mediainq@etrade.com
or
E*TRADE Investor Relations
646-521-4406
IR@etrade.com

Contacts

E*TRADE Media Relations
646-521-4418
mediainq@etrade.com
or
E*TRADE Investor Relations
646-521-4406
IR@etrade.com