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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The stock market's sell signals keep mounting but the prices keep rising, leaving investors wondering just what comes next.

What's happening: Signs of euphoria abound, suggesting the market is getting overheated — a classic sell sign. But in a market underpinned by the Federal Reserve's limitless money printer, dip buyers have continued to step in and markets are piling on risk.

By the numbers: The S&P 500 has risen 87% since its low on March 23, 2020, adding $50 trillion worth of value to the index in just over a year, the best 12-month rally since the 1930s.

  • Investors have continued to lever up to plow money into the stock market, borrowing a record $823 billion against their portfolios as of March, according to data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
  • That's a more than 72% year-over-year increase.
  • The numbers have continued to climb further above January's record of $799 billion.

Where it stands: At the beginning of April, the amount of money that had flowed to stocks globally over the past five months had exceeded the inflow seen over the prior 12 years by well over $100 billion, according to data from Bank of America Global Research.

The big picture: The sea change in psychology means more investors are making increasingly risky bets and putting more of their money into stocks.

  • Retail traders also are growing their influence in the market, another classic sign a bubble is about to pop.
  • Mom and pop traders now account for almost as much trading as all hedge funds and mutual funds combined, FT reports.

Watch this space: Institutional investors, company insiders and hedge funds are all starting to sell.

  • BofA's data show last week its clients had the largest outflows in five months and the fifth-largest on record. Retail clients were the only net buyers.
  • The ratio of company insiders, like CEOs and other top executives, who are selling versus buying stock in their companies is hitting extreme levels, as the insiders unload positions.

Yes, but: Selling has proved to be 2021's riskiest wager, Bloomberg notes. The S&P 500 has yet to decline by more than 5% this year and has now gone 211 days without such a decline, per Reuters.

  • Excluding the S&P's five best sessions, the index’s 11% year-to-date gain has been only 2%.
  • That's highly unusual: The S&P 500 has declined at least 5% every 177 calendar days, Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, told Reuters.

The bottom line: "To try to guess that this is the right time to be out of the market, you may as well go to Las Vegas," Mark Stoeckle, chief executive at Adams Funds, told Bloomberg. "Here’s just as much risk doing that."

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.