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Where are we on the Emotional Scale?

Jared Levy

Since its Friday, I wanted to keep things a little light and do a little “head check” to see where everyone thinks we are in the emotional cycle of the marketplace (and maybe where you might think we are headed).

Psychology is a large part of investing; understanding how the masses are “thinking” is essential to determining a thesis for a stock. As we see time and time again it’s often manias and panics with little or no fundamental basis or even a complete disconnect from fundamentals which have spawned some of the largest volatility in stocks and other assets.

An example might be how an explosion in the Middle East might trigger panic selling in an unrelated tech stock or back in the 1990’s when anything with a dot-com at the end of its name was bought regardless of their business health or growth.  

Then there is the macro sentiment that many use to determine just how the market reacts to news and data. 

Today we are in a bit of a odd sentiment in my opinion.  Stocks have rallied 15% YTD and are up almost 30% since their lows right around this time last year, yet earnings growth is less than 3% and revenue growth is a negative 1%.  In addition to the fact there isn’t any fantastically positive data to justify gains; stocks seem to brush off most of the poor economic data sets.

I think it’s at least safe to say that market’s are in a “positive” state of mind (let me know if you disagree).

The point here is not to argue whether the market is fairly priced, cheap or overbought; I’m just curious as to where you all think we are in the cycle using the chart below (credit to its original creator who I am unable to identify).

To put your opinion in perspective, let’s use a one year time frame or so, because this data can be extrapolated to trends within a day’s time or over a 20 year period.

Given the state of things, the data I am observing and the opinions of investors that I encounter, I think are right around the “Thrill” area of the curve, closely approaching Euphoria.

Where do you all see the market right now? 

Explain your answers if you want, but if you just want to spit out a level, that’s fine as well!

Happy Friday!

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