The Pulse

Investor Movement Index Remains Flat Despite Strong Market Performance in July

Retail investor optimism spurred by positive earnings reported during the period

August 06, 2018 — OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The July Investor Movement Index® was unchanged from the prior month, remaining at 5.45, TD Ameritrade, Inc.1 announced today.

The Investor Movement Index, or the IMXSM, is a proprietary, behavior-based index created by TD Ameritrade that aggregates Main Street investor positions and activity to measure what investors actually were doing and how they were positioned in the markets.


The July 2018 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ended July 27, 2018 reveals:

  • Reading: 5.45 (compared to 5.45 in June)
  • Trend direction: positive
  • Trend length: 3 months
  • Score relative to historic ranges: Moderately Low

With earnings as a key focus during the period, TD Ameritrade clients maintained their overall exposure to equity markets. Despite continued net buying activity, TD Ameritrade client accounts were offset by lower relative volatility in some widely held names, including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Inc. (AMZN) and General Electric Company (GE), resulting in an unchanged IMX score.

“The start of earnings season had a definite effect on the stocks that our clients chose to buy and sell during the July period,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “It appears investors followed the traditional method of buying-low and selling-high, while staying invested in stocks that have better long term possibilities.”

TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers of popular stocks in the July IMX period. Top buys include:

  • Inc. (NFLX), after closing at an all-time high early in the period, ending down nearly 10 percent from June.
  • (AMZN) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), after reaching all-time highs and beating on expected earnings.
  • AT&T Inc. (T), after posting positive earnings for a second quarter, with additional revenue from its acquisition of Time Warner.
  • Ford Motor Company (F), which missed earnings after rising commodity prices negatively impacted its quarterly results.
    Despite being net buyers for another month, TD Ameritrade clients sold equities, including:
  • Walmart Inc. (WMT), after reaching a 3 month high during the period.
  • Walt Disney Company (DIS), which reached a 52 week high after shareholders approved the acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA).
  • Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD), which reached a 4 month high after beating earnings and revenue estimates.
  • Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), which traded higher after beating earnings and receiving an analyst upgrade.
  • Under Armour Inc. (UA), after posting a larger than expected net loss due to restructuring charges.

Indices Up

Major market indices moved higher in July, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and NASDAQ Composite all ending the period with healthy gains. More than 50 percent of S&P 500 companies reported earnings in July, and of those, 80 percent delivered positive earnings news. CEOs from nearly half of the companies that reported earnings mentioned U.S. tariffs on their earnings calls, which was prompted by the administration’s decision to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods. As July came to a close, geopolitical risk continued to be top-of-mind for investors along with seasonal risk as the markets headed into what is historically known as the worst time for stocks.

It appears investors followed the traditional method of buying-low and selling-high, while staying invested in stocks that have better long term possibilities...

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 July 2018; 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.
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 more than 11 million client accounts totaling more than $1.2 trillion in assets, and custodial services to more than 6,000 registered investment advisors. We are a leader in U.S. retail trading, executing an average of more than 780,000 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 nearly 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.
1TD Ameritrade, Inc. is a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA ( /SIPC (