Optimism about U.S. stocks has fallen for the first time in four weeks, according to the latest poll of financial newsletter writers by Investors Intelligence.
The percentage of newsletter writers that consider themselves bullish, or optimistic, fell to 48% last week from 51% the week before. Optimism reached a 14-year high of 61.8% on Feb. 2.
The percentage who considered themselves bearish, or pessimistic, declined to 30% last week from 30.6% the week before. The bearish reading of 42.5% on April 13 was the highest since October 1998.
Those newsletters that aren't bullish or bearish expect a modest near-term pullback in stocks.
Technical market analysts consider high bearishness a sign that stocks are due for a rally because investors who view the market unfavorably already have sold shares. By contrast, analysts see extreme optimism as a sign stocks might be poised to fall.