Fear & Greed Index Showing Signs of Extreme Greed

Interesting new indicator here from CNN Money that attempts to track the level of fear and greed in the market.  They calculate the index using 7 indicators:

Investors are driven by two emotions: fear and greed. Too much fear can sink stocks well below where they should be. When investors get greedy, they can bid up stock prices way too far.

So what emotion is driving the market now? CNNMoney’s Fear & Greed index makes it clear.

The current reading of 86 is consistent with a market in which participants are extremely greedy.   I haven’t run much in terms of backtesting this indicator, but it looks like one that’s worth keeping an eye on.


Got a comment or question about this post? Feel free to use the Ask Cullen section, leave a comment in the forum or send me a message on Twitter.

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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  • Tom Brown

    What axis does “altruism” go on? ;)

  • barak

    the NAAIM survey indicates active managers are all in:

    as far as i could see this is the highest level EVER for this survey.

  • Stephen

    If active managers are all-in.by implication less active longer term holders will have been all-in prior to that process reaching these dizzy heights. Begs the question does it not.Where are the next buyers going to come from? Please don’t tell me bondholders and cash holders.

  • Boston Larry

    This chart is a great contrarian warning of a correction coming. So far, the market is unwilling to oblige and it refuses to sell off by moe than one percent. To me the key is the very strong euro vs. the USD. When the Euro turns down (it may take a while), then equities will turn down sharply, IMO.

  • http://www.nowandfutures.com bart
  • Boston Larry

    Bill Gross answered your question via Tweet saying stock buys were coming out of cash, not so much from bonds. He is skeptical about a reat rotation from bonds to stocks, does not see it happening any time soon.

  • http://make300aday.com Steve Wise

    Seriously, the VIX works just fine typically:


  • Stephen

    Actually the vix approaching “historic lows” is a misnmer .It doesn’t HAVE to give you anything as a guide to the future. If conditions and data merit it the market could stay sanguine for far longer than the benfits of buying cheap protection would afford. Recent couple of years though as a guide would take the contrarian view of that simply because there have been enough ‘systemic’ issues in play to make buying those lows profitable against the follwoing corrections.
    The point I am making is a low vix means nothing. It is the economic and political enviroment in which the low occurs that makes it note worthy.

  • Hans

    Junk metric as far as I am concern…

    The market has been up most since 2010 and we have had only a single pull back of 10% or more.

    This chart shows four major dips and no correlation with the DOW…

  • http://emergingmarketinsider.com Nick

    More confirmation of stock market complacency. I think a 30-40% dip is coming within the next 12-18 months for the S&P 500. How are people so optimistic when we print a negative fourth quarter GDP? And that is with income pushed forward to beat fiscal cliff tax hikes.


  • Ted

    I’ve been following this indicator for about a year now and it’s proven to be pretty useful.

  • http://pragcap Michael Schofield
  • hangemhi

    Nick – your article is seriously flawed. Ironic that you chose to post it on this site – the very one that has been debunking a lot of what you believe in for years now. So I’m guessing you’re a first time visitor.

    From your article “If the economy can prosper forever on the crutches of money printing, than why aren’t countries such as Argentina, Hungary, and Zimbabwe amongst the most prosperous in the world?”

    This topic has been dissected to death, and debunked, here. Search for “hyperinflation” within pragcap and grab a glass of wine.

  • Francisco Almeida


    Does anyone know if it is possible to export the historical values? It would be great to compare it with the S&P performance…

    Regards to all!

  • Joseph Browning
  • http://pragcap Michael Schofield

    Jeez, and WTF? Seeking Alpha, going to the dogs. Think I’ll put it on the same list as ZH and Motley Fool.

  • Francisco Almeida

    Thank you so much Joseph! ButI can not open the image.. could you please check it?

  • Luke

    Loans create deposits

  • Johnny Evers

    Hedge funds and institutions buying stocks on margin?

  • Joseph Browning
  • Luke

    My point is that new money (which comes from banks extending credit) creates the demand that drives stocks upward. Money supply growth is a leading indicator for stocks.

  • Francisco Almeida

    It worked; Thank You!
    Not so clear on what to conclude though… But i will keep an eye on it for sure!

  • hangemhi

    your chart appears to show that extreme fear marks a low, but extreme highs are often followed by more gains.

  • hangemhi

    From Barry Ritholtz – Merril’s Sell side indicator – it shows Wall St more bearish than just about everyone else’s indicators, and at these levels the market tends to go up another 10% to 15%

  • Denny

    Could be TAG money.

    As for margin, how do you think the stock market move up 8 trillion dollars(from 2009) when everyone was rotating into bonds? No one actually put in 8 trillion cash, just used leverage bets.