An Interesting Sentiment Indicator: Seeking Alpha
Here at "A Dash" we were early supporters of Seeking Alpha. We have had a constructive relationship with the site and their leaders.
We congratulate them on their success, and their growing readership, becoming a top-ranked site in the ratings.
The Seeking Alpha Difference
There are some interesting metrics that one can derive from Seeking Alpha. These stem from their approach, embracing the blogosphere and highlighting the news flow.
This is dramatically different from mainstream media sources, where writers choose their subjects and editors review the overall balance.
Please understand that this is not a criticism of the Seeking Alpha model. We merely point out the difference. The articles appearing there reflect blogger opinion and news flow, and it is done very accurately.
Why This is Helpful
The objective stance of Seeking Alpha helps us to gauge what people are thinking. There are two excellent metrics.
Most Popular Articles
The ranking of most popular articles shows what people are actually reading. Here is the current list (skipping the excellent daily briefings):
Most Recent News
The site picks up news flow, as it happens. Here is the current list:
The overwhelming impact of these stories is self-evident.
Once again, we repeat that these stories are not a discretionary choice of the Seeking Alpha editors, who do a fine job. It is an accurate reflection of reader sentiment and news flow. That is what makes it so interesting.
While we have picked the leading articles from today, it is quite typical of the pattern throughout the recent rally. It shows bloggers and readers, all fighting the rally. It is a strong example of the wall of worry that we described a month ago.
If we looked to the most popular authors and commenters, we would see a similar pattern. It is an accurate reflection of the skepticism of those active in online writing and commentary. This might be a better sentiment indicator than Investors Intelligence or other similar choices.
Many people are wondering whether it is too late to buy stocks. This is one indicator.
We think, like traditional sentiment indicators, it is a contrarian signal. If and when the top stories, authors, and articles are all bullish — well, that would be the time to think about taking profits from the recent rally.