Survey: Investors Doubtful About GOP Candidates

   FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - (BUSINESS WIRE) - 11/3/2011 - Although many active investors are hopeful the end of 2011 will ultimately deliver a positive return from the stock market, they don’t appear to be banking on any of the Republican presidential candidates for long term economic recovery, according to a recent survey of approximately 240 independent investors conducted by online broker TradeKing.
   When asked which of the seven GOP presidential hopefuls would be the most effective in moving the economy forward, 36 percent of respondents said “none of the above,” with the leading contenders Romney, Paul and Cain garnering percentage points in the teens. Candidate Bachman came in last with less than one percent of responses.
   Overall bullishness rebounded this quarter, up to 33 percent from 15 percent in August, but still well below the high of 51 percent that was reported in January’s survey.
   The in-house survey was conducted October 26-31, 2011 via email to 4,000+ TradeKing clients, with an estimated 95 percent confidence level.
   Key highlights from the October 2011 survey:
Overall Market Sentiment
   Thirty-three percent of investors described themselves as either “bullish” or “very bullish” over the next three months, up from 15 percent in August, but still below the April (41 percent) and January (51 percent) figures.
   Twenty-two percent of investors described themselves as “bearish” or “very bearish,” down sharply from the 41 percent in August, but above the 11 percent in April and six percent in January.
   The remaining 45 percent described themselves as “neutral or not sure” regarding the market’s outlook.
   General optimism around the market’s 2011 performance has increased slightly, as 46 percent of investors polled said they expect the S&P to finish up 5-10 percent by the end of the year, up from 36 percent in August. However, the majority surveyed (51 percent) said the market would finish either flat or down 5-10 percent.
Economic Recovery
   When asked which of the current GOP candidates for president would be most effective in moving the economy forward, 36 percent answered “none of the above.” The candidates receiving the most positive responses were Romney with 16 percent, Paul also with 16 percent and Cain with 14 percent. All other candidates garnered less than 10 percent of responses.
   When asked what would be the most effective catalyst for jump-starting the U.S. economy, respondents put investments in the country’s infrastructure first (43 percent), tax cuts second (29 percent), the passing of the Jobs Bill and mortgage/foreclosure reform third (11 percent each) and more foreign trade fourth (4 percent). Twenty percent answered “other.”
   Unemployment Maintains Top Spot as #1 Trade Trigger; Investors Long on Energy and Technology, Short on Finance and Retail (Still)
   Among those investors surveyed, 43 percent ranked U.S. unemployment claims as their top trade trigger to watch for the next three months, followed by U.S. consumer spending at 39 percent and quarterly earnings results at 37 percent.
   When asked to pick the favored sectors for the next three months from a “long” position, respondents gave energy and technology strong endorsement as the top picks at 49 and 46 percent, respectively. This quarter, respondents once again picked the finance and retail sectors as having the most potential from a “short” position.