Evidence is mounting that everyone hates the stock market according to brokerage client flow and sentiment survey reports. And that could mean the selling is almost over.
True contrarians on Wall Street are thinking about buying market ETFs or even going so far as to buying the most-hated individual stocks in order to get the most bang for their buck if there is a relief rally.
"Last week amid the Fed's inaction, Bank of America Merrill Lynch clients were net sellers of a record $7 billion in U.S. equities, entirely due to sales by institutional clients," wrote Jill Hall of Merrill Lynch in a note to clients on Tuesday. That was the "biggest net sales by clients since at least 2008."
Along with the record selling, investment advisor sentiment also deteriorated.
"The latest data shows more bears than bulls, with the shift from the correction camp. That signals growing cash on the sidelines," wrote John Gray of Investors Intelligence in a note to clients Wednesday morning. "The bears increased to 30.2 percent, compared with 26.8 percent last issue. This is the most bears since late 2011."
Gray believes increasing bearish sentiment by investors is a positive sign for the market as selling leads to more buying power from clients now with higher cash levels. The theory goes that if so many people are bearish, there's not many left to sell so the market should be ready for a turn.
"Overall the advisors remain nervous and skeptical. That should prove positive ultimately as it signals they are/have raised cash. Remember that sentiment is a leading market indicator. Tops can take months to form but bottoms often form more quickly," wrote Gray in a note last Wednesday.
To prepare for a contrarian market rally CNBC Pro found several hated stocks with attractive fundamentals that should be due for the biggest bounce if this theory is correct. Warning, this is a risky trade deployed only by those with high tolerance for losses.