More than three-quarters of Americans say the five-year bull market in U.S. stocks has had little or no effect on their financial well-being, according to a Bloomberg National Poll.
Seventy-seven percent of respondents dismissed the 176 percent rise in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) since its March 9, 2009 financial crisis low, according to the poll, taken March 7-10. Barely one in five — 21 percent — said the market’s gains have made them “feel more financially” secure.
“I don’t think there’s anything real behind it,” said David Skelly, 47, a policeman in Kankakee, Illinois. “It’s just an artificial boom.”
The poll shows that most Americans still think the country is on the wrong track; fewer people than in Bloomberg’s December poll expect the economy or job market to strengthen over the next 12 months; and President Barack Obama gets little credit for what gains there have been.
By 56 percent to 23 percent, respondents credit private companies rather than Obama’s economic policies for the stock market’s rise. Skelly, who along with his wife, a community college counselor, has money in the market through retirement plans, mutual funds and individual stocks, objects to the asset-buying program carried out by the Federal Reserve since 2008.