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A subjective measure of how investors are feeling about a security or market. Generally speaking, market sentiments are positive when stock prices are going up and negative when they are going down. Because feelings sometimes change more slowly than a market's underlying fundamentals, market sentiment helps explain why securities have a tendency to become either overvalued or undervalued. Some investors plan to make investment decisions in a way that disregards market sentiment, while others attempt to profit from it. See also: Crowd theory, Subjective probabilities, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.
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The intuitive feeling of the investment community regarding the expected movement of the stock market. For example, if market sentiment is bullish, then most investors expect an upward move in the stock market.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.