The Week Ahead: A Tapped-Out Consumer

Last week took the market on a bumpier ride than what we've seen thus far in 2013. In aggregate, the three major U.S. indices were little changed. Although the S&P 500 was up modestly last week, those five trading days marked the seventh straight week of gains for the index, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced its second straight weekly loss. Despite the flip and flop for those two, the year-to-date returns for the three major averages capped up between 5% and 7% last week.

Masked by that year-to-date figure is a growing unease about the stock market. The most recent sentiment figures from the American Association of Individual Investors show that, over the last few weeks, the percentage of individual investors who are bullish has fallen to 42.3% as of Feb. 14, down from 52.3% Jan. 24. As you might suspect, that was offset by increases in the neutral and bearish individual investors. ...779 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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