Investors are far more bullish than they were even three short months ago, according to a quarterly survey released on Monday by online broker TradeKing. And with mid-term elections on Tuesday, the majority of investors reported that they believe the outcome of the elections will have little to no impact on their trading.
The October 2010 survey, conducted via email with over 300 investors between Oct. 25 and 28, found that 45% of those surveyed described themselves as “bullish” or “very bullish” on the market for the next three months, a significant increase from 10% in July 2009. Thirteen percent of respondents described themselves as “bearish” or “very bearish,” while 42% said they were “neutral” or “not sure.” Meanwhile, 59% of those surveyed said they believe the S&P 500 index will finish up between 5% to 10% by year-end, up from 50% in July.
Regarding mid-term elections 22% of investors surveyed said they would increase their trading if the Republican Party gains the majority in one house of Congress, while 9% said they would increase their trading if Democrats hold the majority in both houses. At the same time, 12% said they would decrease trading if Democrats hold the majority in both houses and 5% said they would decrease trading if the GOP gains majority in one house.
Forty-two percent of those surveyed said U.S. unemployment claims was their top trade trigger for the next three months, down from 49% in July. Thirty-five percent said quarterly earnings were their top trade trigger and 32% said interest rates.
“Another key finding in the survey revealed that investors overwhelmingly identified jobs and the economy as the most important deciding factors in the upcoming election,” said Don Montanaro, Chairman and CEO of TradeKing. “If we combine that with investors’ apparent renewed confidence in the market, one interpretation might be that it is precisely the country’s intense focus on the economy that gives them hope for a brighter finish to 2010 and start to the New Year.”