Market sentiment: US CEOs Most Optimistic since 2006

December 2010 seems to be month when all the stars align, and bullishness is reaching historical extremes. This is the third market sentiment post this week and here's what we now have:
  1. No New Normal Next Year Seen by Strategists Predicting 11% Gain in S&P 500
  2. Hedge Funds Raise Commodity Gain Bets to 4-Year High
  3. Put Call Ratio: Everyone’s Betting On The Bull
  4. Volatility is back to April 2010 levels
  5. Rydex Nasdaq 100 Bull/Bear Ratio At Highest Since Dot Com Collapse
  6. US CEOs Most Optimistic since 2006
Remember: The start of the 2006 was the very peak of the housing market in the US and hence of the biggest credit bubble mankind had ever known. Yet CEOs have reached that same level of optimism.
Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Optimism among U.S. chief executives in the fourth quarter rose to the highest level since the start of 2006 as business leaders projected increased sales, investment and hiring, a private survey showed.

The Business Roundtable’s economic outlook index climbed to 101 after falling in the previous quarter for the first time since the beginning of 2009, the Washington-based group said today. Readings higher than 50 coincide with an economic expansion. The gauge, which increased from a third-quarter reading of 86, rose to 102 in the first quarter of 2006.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they will add to payrolls, an increase of 14 percentage points, while 80 percent said they expect sales will grow in the next six months, up from 66 percent in the third quarter. Businesses need to pick up hiring to lower an unemployment rate that’s been at 9.5 percent or higher for 16 straight months, the longest such stretch since record-keeping began in 1948.
Fifty-nine percent of executives said they plan to spend more on equipment, up from 49 percent, the survey showed.

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