Levkovich said that as a whole respondents were upbeat, as they expect an approximately 9.0% gain for the S&P 500 in 2011. Only 5% expect a flat-to-down market, with almost 69% thinking a 20% rally is more likely than a 20% pullback.
The first column I read each week in Barron's is Michael Santoli's Streetwise. He tends to be correct more often than wrong and errs on the side of bullishness. I find it interesting that has also turned cautious. From Barron's:
...The survey shows that cash as a proportion of assets have declined to 6.4% from the 7.5% reading in the October survey and are well below July 2010’s 11.0% when investors were fearful of an economic double dip. The current position is still above April 2010’s 6.0% but dramatically below December 2008’s 17.0% cash position.
The past two quarters of stock-market gains, combined with a stubbornly positive investor outlook, suggest that this is a time for caution.The third article I wanted to share has nothing to do with the stock market but I found it extremely interesting. It is on Chinese parenting from the Wall Street Journal:
First, I've noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children's self-esteem. They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital. In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children's psyches. Chinese parents aren't. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently.
For example, if a child comes home with an A-minus on a test, a Western parent will most likely praise the child. The Chinese mother will gasp in horror and ask what went wrong. If the child comes home with a B on the test, some Western parents will still praise the child. Other Western parents will sit their child down and express disapproval, but they will be careful not to make their child feel inadequate or insecure, and they will not call their child "stupid," "worthless" or "a disgrace." Privately, the Western parents may worry that their child does not test well or have aptitude in the subject or that there is something wrong with the curriculum and possibly the whole school. If the child's grades do not improve, they may eventually schedule a meeting with the school principal to challenge the way the subject is being taught or to call into question the teacher's credentials.