TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index

Market Mood: IMX Inches Lower as Investors Reduce FAANG Stock Holdings

Retail investors decreased exposure to equity markets during September

October 07, 2019 — OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Investor Movement Index® (IMXSM) measured at 4.51 in September, down slightly from its August score. 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.

The reading for the four-week period ending Sept. 27, 2019 fell by 2 percent, continuing an 11-month trend of below-average IMX scores. Compared to historic averages, this score ranks “Moderately Low”.

“Stocks finished the third quarter roughly where they started, but getting there was a volatile ride, and investors reacted by rotating holdings away from equities and toward fixed income in September,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “Many investors sold some of their FAANG positions as the tech sector suffered from ongoing tariff uncertainty surrounding the U.S. and China.”

Equity markets were mixed during September, with the S&P 500 moving higher by 1.2 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average increasing by 1.6 percent. The Nasdaq Composite ended the period slightly lower, down 0.3 percent, as the technology sector lagged. Oil prices were volatile following an attack on a Saudi oil facility, posting the biggest one-day gain in more than a decade. The Federal Reserve also voted to cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points for the second time in two months.

Retail investors at TD Ameritrade did find some popular names to buy during the September IMX period, including:

  • Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK)
  • Walt Disney Co. (DIS)
  • Roku Inc. (ROKU)
  • Abbvie Inc. (ABBV)

TD Ameritrade clients were net sellers of equities in September, and net sold many popular tech names, including:

  • Apple Inc. (AAPL)
  • Facebook Inc. (FB)
  • Alphabet Inc. (GOOG)
  • Netflix Inc. (NFLX)
  • Millennial Buys & Sells

Like the larger client population, millennials with TD Ameritrade accounts also net bought Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK), Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Roku Inc. (ROKU) in September. They chose a few names to net buy that the overall population did not, including Aurora Cannabis (ACB), Square Inc. (SQ) and Lyft Inc. (LYFT).

Many investors sold some of their FAANG positions as the tech sector suffered from ongoing tariff uncertainty surrounding the U.S. and China...

Millennials were net sellers of many of the same companies as the general population, including some of the same tech stocks like Apple Inc. (AAPL), Facebook Inc. (FB) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOG). Unlike the total population, they were also net sellers of tech stocks Twitter Inc. (TWTR) and Snap Inc. (SNAP).





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 September 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.
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