U.S. News

As US stocks hit new records, investor pessimism is soaring to post-election highs

Time to take profits from equity markets: ABN AMRO

Pessimism among individual investors has hit its highest level since U.S. President Donald Trump secured election victory in November, according to a survey from the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII).

The weekly survey of U.S. investors found that they expect stock prices to fall over the next six months with AAII's bearish indicator rising by over 3 points to 35.6 percent.

Pessimism among investors has not hit this high since October 19 last year, it said, whereas bullish sentiment edged lower and neutral sentiment was found to be relatively unchanged.

'Everything is overpriced'

The survey, published Thursday, followed Wall Street's best session of the year so far. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed to over 21,000 points on Wednesday for the first time in its history.

Many investors and pundits have pointed to Trump's ambitious policy pledges as being the chief motivator for the market rally. Not least the president himself who noted the market had added $3 trillion in value since his election victory during his congressional address.

However, some investors appear to be increasingly skeptical as to the prospects of the so-called Trump rally.

Currently easier to find things to sell, rather than buy: CIO

"In general, risk assets are overpriced and I think almost everything is overpriced since … (well) the last two months it's much easier to find things to sell than to buy," Patrick Armstrong, chief investment officer at Plurimi, told CNBC on Thursday.

"However you look at things now, you're paying full value and a little bit more I think," Armstrong concluded.

'Miraculous' boom

Marc Faber, editor of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report told CNBC on Thursday that he believed the "very complacent" market was discounting three critical trends that suggest a correction is in the offing.

The man often referred to as "Dr. Doom" said that market expectations for the Trump administration, U.S. economy and foreign currencies could all contribute to a reversal in fortunes.

In contrast to this uptick in bearish sentiment from some, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett argued in his closely watched annual letter on Saturday that the "miraculous" boom in the U.S. economy is set to continue.

The "Oracle of Omaha" said: "Our expectation is that investment gains will continue to be substantial – though totally random as to timing – and that these will supply significant funds for business purchase."