Flow data has shown a consistent trend of active fund managers pulling away from the market; the only inflows into global equities have been passive with machine trading and corporate buy-backs driving most index performance.
Funds have stayed away from equities all year, as the have done largely in the high yield bond market, another asset class particularly exposed to heightened levels of volatility.
If active managers, prefer to hold cash instead of stocks, then we are not in a bull market.
Europe's have been the worst hit markets in terms of flows and IPOs, the gold standard equity capital markets product, have suffered as a result.
Volumes are down and investors have only been willing to buy deals in select growth sectors, demurring when a company looks like it has any kind of cyclical exposure and demanding big discounts.
The IPO market is not a perfect gauge of sentiment among investors but if buyers are unwilling to commit capital to a new listing, a commitment that tends to require a deal of faith in a benign economic environment in the medium term, then it is a sign that investors are less than confident about the economy.
With global data now pointing to an economic downturn and political ructions causing bouts of volatility, indices are starting to represent the reticence of active equity investors.