Market Vane Corp. of Pasadena, CA, weekly surveys 100 investment advisors from brokerage firms. This indicator is one of four different sentiment polls or surveys conducted by investment advisory service newsletters and generally made available to subscribers via telephone recording. The data is also printed in Barron's. Popular interpretation is generally contrarian.
Many experienced technical analysts use sentiment, but more as a supplement to trend, momentum, and other technical indicators than as a stand-alone, signal generator. Sentiment typically shows overbought and oversold levels well before the directional price move is over and, therefore, can be misleading. In general, sentiment is more of a background indicator that is not suitable for precise timing.
Source: Colby, Robert. The Encyclopedia of Technical Market Indicators; (c) 2003.