Wall Street Sentiment

"The most profitable and useful sentiment on Wall Street for more than a decade. Period."


"Some of the most valuable information I get is from Mark Young's weekly service sentiment polls. He not only provides the raw sentiment numbers, but he also performs a remarkably insightful and accurate analysis of the poll results. I would hate to be without it."

C. Swenlin

"The service is a very handy tool to have in one's trader's toolbox. [Mark Young's]special take on sentiment can help keep you on the right side of the indexes, even with the seemingly irrational moves we've had since 2000."
Enzo V.
New York City, NY

"I have been trading the markets since the early 1970's and have tried just about everthing out there..with very very modest success...that said..i can tell you that I find your "sentacator".. the most accurate..and simple to use technique for predicting the near term direction of the S & P index.....this is stated with a deep sense of thanks to you for presenting this product... you have my heartiest congratulations."
Mike C.
Harrisburg, PA

"Mark Young's service is an invaluable sentiment service. Using it with other indicators can give the fine edge to making a successful trade, and passing on a bad one."
Karen H.
New York City, NY

"Mark, just wanted to send you a quick complimentary note on the service. Most of my market analysis prior to Aug. 2003 has dealt with classic TA and price action. I've thought about investor sentiment and crowd psychology over the years, but never followed a quantifiable, "for pay" service until subscribing to your service [Trade Navigator]. I like it. I feel that it helps give me a more complete "feel" for the equity market. Please make sure that I'm rolled into the new premium service and keep up the great work!"
Jim T.
Germantown, TN


What's Included in Your Subscription:

The ISA Daily Trade Navigator Daily Trade Navigator subscribers get a daily update of our proprietary surveys, all the major public sentiment polls and surveys (including any newly developed public sentiment polls that catch our eye), Rydex Sentiment, standard options Put/Call ratios, $-weighted Put/Call ratios, our Senticator and trading models, our T-4 indicator, plus in-depth analysis of all sentiment measures. No one else can provide the depth and breadth of our sentiment research.
ISA Weekend Report If you are less active and more interested in major turns and their likelihood, we publish a weekly version of the letter, called the Weekly Report including all of the above, only on the weekend, without daily updates for $99/year.
The ISA Premium If you are a very active trader and are looking for day-trading and position-trading ideas, our Premium upgrade will get you a morning update with our best trading bets (long or short) for the Emini, and trade set ups, including potential entry and exit points, as we see them. In addition, we'll provide specific day and position trades, real time, as time allows.


The following are the Sentiment Indicators included in the
Weekly, Daily, and Premium Services:

The Wall Street Sentiment Survey

Each week, we conduct a survey of a static list of diverse traders. This survey group has seen only very modest changes over the past 15 years. When a participant leaves the survey group, he or she is replaced with a trader/analyst with a similar style and approach. As a result of these constraints we are able to gain much more from the survey results than one might from a typical poll. Extreme readings often are contrary indicators, but because the surveyees are more expert, most readings are not contrary, especially short-term. Additionally, we've found that even splits are often good early warning signals for market turns.

Smart Money Survey
Each week, we conduct a survey of professional analysts/investors who have a proven record of accuracy. This is not a contrary indicator. This crew has proven themselves to be very well-versed generally on the right side of the market.

Amateur Survey
Each week, we conduct a survey of the least sophisticated and more emotional amateur traders/investors. This is a contrary indicator. The most emotional traders are most likely to be wrong on the direction of the market. Excessive readings are very reliable.

This is a proprietary indicator based upon a special survey that we conduct. It provides specific Buy, Sell, or Neutral signals. The signals are not contrarian and are tradably accurate for the following week. In some contexts, this indicator has had nearly 90% accuracy.

T-4 Indicator
This is the Traders-Talk Timing Tool. This is a measure of activity on the Traders-talk message board site. This correlates amazingly well with turning points. We (alone) review this data daily, and we know that when we see readings north of 80 or so, we should look for a change in trend.

Traders-Talk.com Weekly message board poll
This is a standard weekly poll of fairly sophisticated trading message board participants for the week. This is a contrary indicator. If too many are Bullish for the week, we might look for some selling, and vice versa.

Traders-Talk.com Daily message board poll
This is a standard daily poll of fairly sophisticated trading message board participants for the following trading day. This is not a contrary indicator unless at extremes. If there are 40% Bulls and 30% Bears, this would imply a higher bias, but if there were 55% Bulls and 18% Bears, it would imply lower prices.

Traders-Talk.com Actual Position Poll
A daily poll of participants' actual positions; Fully Long, Partially Long, Flat, Partially Short, or Fully short. This is a contrary indicator at extremes counter to the prevailing trend. That is to say if there are many fully short traders in an uptrend, that up-trend is likely to continue, near term.

Fully Long/Fully Short Ratio
Derived from the Traders-talk Actual Position Poll, we analyze poll results for persistent trends in excess confidence (long or short). This is a contrary indicator, and has proved to be valuable for identifying not only intermediate-term bottoms but also market tops when readings are below 60% or above 300%.

The following public polls and surveys are all contrary indicators:

TheStreet.com weekly poll
is larger and gives a great read on amateur investors.

The Thrift Saving Plan weekly poll is a very reliable read for amateur traders.

AAII's weekly poll is a classic poll and widely followed. This poll measures longer-term investor sentiment and often gives an early read on important tops and bottoms.

The Investors Intelligence weekly survey is also widely followed and gives a read on the sentiment of those advising investors. This sentiment probably reflects that of some hedge funds. It is better informed, and tends to be quite early. Persistent excessive readings are more valuable than one or two excessive readings.

Mark Hulbert's Hulbert Stock Newsletter Sentiment Index is another measure of established newsletter writer's sentiment. More specifically, this measures the aggregate level of market exposure (long or short) recommended by Hulbert's newsletter writers. Unlike the II survey, this index measures aggregate advisor confidence.

Lazlo Birinyi's Blogger Poll is a new measure of market junky sentiment. Excesses seem to be indicate the overconfidence by somewhat more sophisticated speculators and can be quite useful.

The LowRisk.com weekly poll is a measure of amateur speculator sentiment. These readings tend to be predictive (contrarily) when above 60% (either Bullish or Bearish).

Rydex Asset Flows are contrary indicators among the non-Dynamic funds and non-contrary indicators when the shifts are large in the Dynamic funds. We've found that non-Dynamic traders are the least sophisticated speculators (due to the trading limitations and the higher costs). The larger Dynamic players, however, seem to have a rather good track record over the short term and are probably more sophisticated.

The following Options Sentiment Indicators are contrarian:

The Daily CBOE P/C ratio measures all options speculation on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. When enough speculators are buying calls or puts, you can often plan on a move that makes them wrong, at least near term.

The 10-day CBOE P/C ratio smooths out any possible aberrations in the daily data and gives rather good intermediate term signals.

The Equity P/C ratio measures optimism and pessimism among small, aggressive speculators. If confirmed, this can be very predictive.

The OEX $-weighted* P/C ratio measures not only put and call buying, but also how much is being paid for those puts and calls. Whenever excessive amounts of money are being paid for options, it means that the buyers are buying for the wrong reasons and can usually be faded. This is especially true when the nominal OEX P/C ratio is trending in the opposite direction, implying that the smart money is fading those who are paying too much for puts or calls.

The QQQQ $-weighted* P/C ratio also measures not only put and call buying, but also how much is being paid for those puts and calls. Whenever excessive amounts of money are being paid for options, it means that the buyers are buying for the wrong reasons and can usually be faded. This is a great way of measuring sentiment among those aggressively trading the the more volatile Nasdaq.

The ISE Sentiment Index uses opening long customer transactions to calculate a sentiment index. Opening long transactions are thought to best represent market sentiment because investors often buy call and put options to express their actual market view of a particular stock and this data excludes most programmer, market maker, and similar trades, which tend to aberrate other options sentiment measures. High readings are Bearish and low readings are Bullish. When used in conjunction with other sentiment measures, the ISEE is a good measure of individual speculator sentiment.

The Relative VIX is a measure of the amount the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is deviating from its 200-day moving average. The VIX measures the implied volatility priced into the SPX index options. When the Relative VIX is high, it implies that too much fear has been priced into the options, which both indicates excessive Bearish sentiment and creates a motivation to rally the market (and profit from rapidly declining volatility premiums). This is one of our better bottom-spotters.

The following Options Sentiment Indicators are NOT contrarian:

The OEX PC ratio is a measure of how the more sophisticated institutional traders (who dominate trading in these options) are positioning. They tend to be right.

The OEX 10-day PC ratio gives an intermediate-term read on how the "usually-right" "big money" is positioning. Again, those traders tend to be right.

The Wall Street Sentiment Newsletters are Equity Guardian Group Publications  
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