The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index shows investor confidence slipped during the third quarter, declining to 17 from a second-quarter reading of 19.
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Sentiment is still improved from the fourth quarter of 2011 when the reading was 15. The composition of investors’ feelings towards different types of investments made a more dramatic shift.
In the third quarter, 49% of investors favored stocks compared to only 41% in the last quarter of 2011. Yet they were also less confident about stock market growth.
The percentage of investors who think the Dow will close the year above 13,000 shrank from 74% in the second quarter to only 67% in the third.
Sixty-two percent still say the national debt is the most critical issue
and the top investment priority for 34% of investors is saving for retirement.