TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index: IMX Breaks Streak of Record-Breaking Highs, Declines for First Time in Three Months

Retail investors are net buyers, despite lower exposure to equity markets

TD Ameritrade April 2017 Investor Movement Index (Graphic: TD Ameritrade)

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OMAHA, Neb.--()--The April 2017 Investor Movement Index® reading fell for the first time in three months, dropping to 6.06, TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (Nasdaq: AMTD) 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 are actually doing and how they are positioned in the markets.

The April 2017 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending April 28, 2017, reveals:

  • Reading: 6.06 (compared to 6.22 in March)
  • Trend direction: Negative
  • Trend length: 1 month
  • Score relative to historic ranges: High

TD Ameritrade client exposure to equity markets decreased as there was lower relative volatility in widely held names, including Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Facebook Inc. (FB). Volatility was modest during the month, with a slight uptick in the volatility of the S&P 500 Index early in the period. Markets posted losses early in the month following poor economic data, yet rebounded at month-end following strong earnings reports. Despite the negative downtrend in April, TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers overall in April with increased interest in the tech sector and dividend stocks.

“Although this is the first decline in recent months, market optimism appeared to remain strong as our clients were net buyers for the fifth month in row. We saw a similar trend a year ago, where retail clients lowered their equity exposure and the IMX broke a seven month high streak,” said Victor Jones, director of trading for TD Ameritrade. “A third of the S&P 500 will report earnings in May, so we will see how much our clients stay engaged in the markets.”

TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers of dividend stocks in the April period, including AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon (VZ), both of which traded down following their earnings reports early in the period. Clients were net buyers of Amazon Inc. (AMZN) and Facebook Inc. (FB) with both stocks reaching all-time highs during the period. Apple Inc. (AAPL) was net bought as the stock reached a 52-week high. Investors will likely keep an eye on the stock as the company is expected to release the 10th anniversary iPhone later this year. Finally, Plug Power Inc. (PLUG) was also a net buy following a deal to sell $70 million of fuel-cell forklifts to Amazon. Additional popular names bought in April included Dry Ships Inc. (DRYS) and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B).

TD Ameritrade clients were net sellers of Consumer Goods and Service companies during the April period. Starbucks Inc. (SBUX) was net sold for a second month in a row, after an analyst upgrade pushed the stock to a 52-week high. Panera Inc. (PNRA) was also net sold after being acquired by JAB Holdings for $315 per share. Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM), a net sold, reached a 52-week high after Jana Partners took nearly a 9% stake in the company. Finally, with plans to launch a mobile money transfer app in partnership with American Express Inc. (AXP), Walmart (WMT) stock reach a 52-week high and was net sold. Net selling activity also occurred within the Energy sector as ConocoPhillips Corp. (COP) and Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) were net sold.

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 7 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 December 2010; to view the full report from April 2017; or to sign up for future IMX news alerts, please visit www.tdameritrade.com/IMX. 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.

For the latest TD Ameritrade news and information, follow the company on Twitter, @TDAmeritradePR.

Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
Millions of investors and independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) have turned to TD Ameritrade’s (Nasdaq:AMTD) technology, people and education to help make investing and trading easier to understand and do. Online or over the phone. In a branch or with an independent RIA. First-timer or sophisticated trader. Our clients want to take control, and we help them decide how — bringing Wall Street to Main Street for more than 40 years. TD Ameritrade has time and again been recognized as a leader in investment services. Please visit TD Ameritrade’s newsroom or www.amtd.com for more information.

Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA (www.FINRA.org)/SIPC (www.SIPC.org).

Contacts

TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
For Media:
Christina Goethe, 201-369-8510
Corporate Communications
christina.goethe@tdameritrade.com
@TDAmeritradePR
or
For Investors:
Jeff Goeser, 402-597-8464
Investor Relations
jeffrey.goeser@tdameritrade.com

Contacts

TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
For Media:
Christina Goethe, 201-369-8510
Corporate Communications
christina.goethe@tdameritrade.com
@TDAmeritradePR
or
For Investors:
Jeff Goeser, 402-597-8464
Investor Relations
jeffrey.goeser@tdameritrade.com