Investor Movement Index Shows First Decline in Seven Months

Still, IMX remains at the high end of its range, at bullish levels

May 13, 2014 – OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE:AMTD), is today releasing the Investor Movement Index® reading for April 2014. 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 are actually doing and how they are positioned in the markets.

The April 2014 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending April 25, 2014, reveals:

  • Reading: 5.67 (compared to 5.87 in March)
  • Trend direction: Negative
  • Trend length: 1 month
  • Score relative to historic ranges: High

April’s IMX reading declined for the first time in seven months. The IMX remained at the high end of its historical range in April while equity markets were volatile. The S&P 500 traded at record highs only to give up ground in the second week, declining to levels not seen since February 2014. The third and fourth week brought a rebound in prices as earnings announcements ramped up and Ukraine related tensions began to ease. The S&P 500 ended the period slightly above where it was during the last IMX reading. TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers overall. Net buying activity favored the Technology and Services sectors, while the Consumer Goods and Basic Materials sectors saw net selling. Clients were also net buyers of fixed income products including fixed income ETFs and Mutual Funds.

Although clients were slight net buyers overall, equity market exposure declined as their portfolios (net of trading activity) were less volatile relative to the S&P 500 than in previous periods. This lowered clients’ sensitivity to the equity markets and drove the IMX down.

“This is the first decline we’ve seen in several months as clients have adjusted their portfolios and dialed back equity market exposure,” said Nicole Sherrod, managing director of the trader group, TD Ameritrade. “However, the IMX remains at the high end of its range, at bullish levels.”

  • The technology sector was the largest net buy and partially driven by purchases in Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL, GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO). All three had trended lower after hitting highs over the last few months.
  • TD Ameritrade clients were net sellers of Apple (AAPL), which had been range bound but surged higher in April after its earnings announcement.
Although clients were slight net buyers overall, equity market exposure declined as their portfolios (net of trading activity) were less volatile relative to the S&P 500 than in previous periods

The IMX value is calculated based on a complex proprietary formula. Each month, TD Ameritrade pulls a sample from its client base of 6 million funded accounts that 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 December 2010, to view the full report from April 2014, 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.




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