Investor Movement Index

Investor Confidence Reaches Highest Point in 2019 Amid Market Highs, Holiday Optimism

Investors were net buyers in November, and placed a record number of their Black Friday trades on mobile devices

December 09, 2019 — OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Investor Movement Index® (IMXSM) increased to 5.17 in November, up 6.8 percent from its October score of 4.84. The IMX is TD Ameritrade’s proprietary, behavior-based index, aggregating Main Street investor positions and activity to measure what investors actually were doing and how they were positioned in the markets.

Though the IMX came in at its highest point since November 2018, the reading still ranks as “Moderately Low” compared to historic averages.

“There was a lot to like in November, including better-than-expected earnings and optimism surrounding trade,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “The signs were there for a strong holiday season, and with that investors were more willing to increase their exposure to the market, ending the period as net buyers of equities.”

Equity markets increased during the November IMX period, with all three major U.S. indices notching records. The S&P 500 increased past 3,100 for the first time ever, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average breached 28,000 for the first time, with the indices up 3.9 percent and 4.1 percent respectively. The Nasdaq Composite, up 5.1 percent, produced the best gains.

Retail investors at TD Ameritrade net bought popular names during the November IMX period, including:

  • Walt Disney Co. (DIS)
  • Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)
  • McDonald’s Corp. (MCD)
  • Ford Motor Co. (F)

TD Ameritrade clients also used market highs to net sell some popular names, including:

Bank of America Corp. (BAC)

Citigroup Inc. (C)

Tesla Inc. (TSLA)

Netflix Inc. (NFLX)

Millennial Buys & Sells

In November, there were some key differences in the stocks TD Ameritrade’s millennial clients net bought. Millennials net bought Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE) and Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC), while the total client population did not. There were no differences on the sell side between the two populations.

Black Friday Trading

On the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, the top stocks TD Ameritrade clients traded included Roku Inc. (ROKU), Alibaba Group (BABA) and Amazon (AMZN) — a top Black Friday stock for the fifth year in a row.

The signs were there for a strong holiday season, and with that investors were more willing to increase their exposure to the market, ending the period as net buyers of equities...

More than one-third (34 percent) of the trades placed on Black Friday were placed through a mobile device, a record high. In 2018, 31 percent of Black Friday retail trades were placed on mobile devices.

“Once the Thanksgiving leftovers are cleared away, we’ve found that many investors use their mobile devices to stay engaged with the market while spending time with family and friends,” said Kinahan. “Our clients’ appetite for market access via mobile has continued to increase every year, and Black Friday is the perfect example of this.”

TD Ameritrade also saw record-breaking mobile averages for its 2019 fiscal year (Oct.1, 2018 – Sept.30, 2019), including:

  • An average of 232,000 mobile trades per day, up from an average of 197,900 in fiscal year 2018
  • 27 percent of total trades were placed on a mobile device, compared to 24 percent the prior year
  • An average of 768,170 daily mobile users compared to 642,470 in fiscal 2018




About the IMX
The IMX value is calculated based on a complex proprietary formula. Each month, TD Ameritrade pulls a sample from its client base of more than 11 million funded accounts, which includes all accounts that completed a trade in the past month. The holdings and positions of this statistically significant sample are evaluated to calculate individual scores, and the median of those scores represents the monthly IMX.
For more information on the Investor Movement Index, including historical IMX data going back to January 2010; to view the full report from November 2019; or to sign up for future IMX news alerts, please visit Additionally, TD Ameritrade clients can chart the IMX using the symbol $IMX in either the thinkorswim® or TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader platforms.
Inclusion of specific security names in this commentary does not constitute a recommendation from TD Ameritrade to buy, sell, or hold. All investments involve risk including the possible loss of principal. Please consider all risks and objectives before investing.
Past performance of a security, strategy, or index is no guarantee of future results or investment success.
Historical data should not be used alone when making investment decisions. Please consult other sources of information and consider your individual financial position and goals before making an independent investment decision.
The IMX is not a tradable index. The IMX should not be used as an indicator or predictor of future client trading volume or financial performance for TD Ameritrade.
About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
TD Ameritrade provides investing services and education to approximately 12 million client accounts totaling approximately $1.3 trillion in assets, and custodial services to more than 7,000 registered investment advisors. We are a leader in U.S. retail trading, executing an average of approximately 800,000 trades per day for our clients, more than a quarter of which come from mobile devices. We have a proud history of innovation, dating back to our start in 1975, and today our team of 10,000-strong is committed to carrying it forward. Together, we are leveraging the latest in cutting edge technologies and one-on-one client care to transform lives, and investing, for the better. Learn more by visiting TD Ameritrade’s newsroom at, or read our stories at Fresh Accounts.