Stock market bears are growling.
According to an Investors Intelligence U.S. Advisors' Sentiment report, the number of bears in the market has increased to 30.2 percent, the highest level since late 2011 as fears of a global slowdown have investors running for the exits.
"The latest data shows more bears than bulls," the firm's John Gray wrote in the report. "That signals growing cash on the sidelines. Remember that sentiment is a leading market indicator," he added.
But according to one strategist, the preponderance of pessimism could, ironically, propel stocks higher.
"Over the years looking at the markets, when you buy stocks when bearishness is very high and sell them into bullishness slowly, you do very, very well," Larry McDonald said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."