Charles Payne


An immediate, and ultimately short-lived, reaction to a particular event - for example, if you had just won the lottery, you would feel ebullient.

Someone perpetually upbeat and cheerful - for example, as in "an ebullient personality," watch out for ebullient personalities: they can often be "over the top" as well.

It has been a longtime since popular music, or musicians were once described as "Ebullient." However, back in 1959, that is how the world viewed Mr. Dizzy Gillespie. Back in those days, jazz was pop and all the rage. As it turned out, 1959 was a pretty good year for the United could say that it was an ebullient time.

  • GDP +6.9% after tumbling -0.7% the preceding year
  • America peaked with the largest percentage of global GDP
  • Total debt as percentage of GDP was 2/3 less than today
  • Alaska and Hawaii became states

Yesterday, the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) released its latest survey on sentiment, reflecting a big spike in bullishness. Typically, a spike like that indicates that there is too much enthusiasm among investors, but in this case the move was coming from an extremely low-point, where individual investors were actually more bearishness than bullish. Nevertheless, we hear a lot these days about how poor the timing is for the Main Street investor, with respect to jumping in at the wrong time with reckless enthusiasm.

Investors are not ebullient, even if more of them are dipping a toe into the water.

The fact is, just as music has evolved since the cool age of jazz, so too have investor attitudes about the market. Of course, music's course seems linear from jazz to rock, to acid to punk, and to heavy metal, which shared the charts with disco, and then various forms of rap, including gangster rap. (Country music evolved as well, although I prefer the older stuff to the more pop-light offerings today.) What is interesting is that investors get the blame for being too enthusiastic and creating market tops, but one has to consider that perhaps market rallies fan the flames of unbridled excitement. It is sort of a chicken and egg kind of thing. On that note, the bullishness among individuals has coincided with market tops, and that is the good news because individuals are anything but ebullient.

Stock Market - Historic Tops


Charles Payne

Charles V. Payne is a regular contributor to the Fox Business and Fox News Networks. He is also the Chief Executive Officer and Principle Analyst of Wall Street Strategies, Inc. (WSSI), founded in 1991 which provides subscription analytical services to both individual and institutional investors.