If you believe in the wisdom of crowds, you might be interested to know where online brokerage investors are putting their money. According to a late July survey of more than 220 active stock and options traders at TradeKing, respondents said the sectors with the most potential for the third quarter were energy (44 percent), followed by healthcare/biotech (41 percent), and finance (40 percent). Survey respondents were allowed to choose more than one sector from a list of 12.
Other survey findings:
• 15 percent of options and stock traders said they liked energy for a short position (to short a stock is to bet against it), and 15 percent said they liked commodities as a short.
• 39 percent of options traders and 31 percent of stock traders described themselves as "bearish" or "very bearish," in July, up from 26 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in April.
• 79 percent of stock traders reported that they've profited from buying more stock and buying and selling sector-specific ETFs and mutual funds.