During the “flash crash” I tweeted:


Well I got my answer. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Risk is again a four-letter word among individual investors. That could spell further trouble for the stock market in days and weeks ahead. Already, investors pulled $2.8 billion out of U.S. equity funds in the week through May 12, according to Lipper FMI, the most since March 2009. Safe-haven money-market funds, meanwhile, saw inflows of $16.6 billion. That broke a 17-week streak of declines.

This may be the reason stocks are now retesting the closing lows seen during the crash of a couple weeks ago. Funds have to meet redemptions and with no cash on hand they are forced to sell into weakness rather than use it as a buying opportunity.

I have discussed the risks of growing risk aversion in more depth recently. We can only speculate, however, whether it will continue to feed upon itself and exacerbate the current weakness in stock prices. But it seems to me, that there are currently too many folks calling for a crash right now for it to come to pass.
Disclosure: long SDS