Market Preview: Smart Money Skeptics
The poll also found that European equities were starting to look attractive to some investors as the percentage of managers looking to underweight the old continent fell to a net 5% this month from 18% in July. There was also evidence of a shift in what's the biggest worry for the market right now to the U.S. fiscal cliff from European's sovereign debt situation.
The theme of returning cash to shareholders remained intact with a net 43% of those polled characterizing dividends and buybacks as "the most important use of cash flow, ahead of capital spending and strengthening balance sheets." This was highest reading since November 2010 and up from a net 37 percent in July, according to B of A.
The survey also supported the notion that stocks are still waiting for a heavy surge of funds from other asset classes, noted Harnett, who also pointed out that real estate was being viewed more favorably than it has in a long while.
"The summer rally has caused only modest re-allocation from cash & bonds to equities and investors remain UW commodities," he said. "
Coincidentally, it's a 13-F reporting day, giving the retail crowd some insight into what their institutional counterparts have been up to over the past few months. Among the stocks that saw notable buying interest was Amazon.com(AMZN) , which was snapped up by firms such as SAC Capital and Tremblant Capital in the second quarter.
Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway(BRK.A) sold a stake in Intel(INTC) , added to positions in big banks Wells Fargo(WFC) and Bank of New York Mellon(BNY) and sold off significant portions of positions in United Parcel Service(UPS) and Visa(V) , among other moves.