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TD Ameritrade's Investor Movement Index: February Numbers Spike As A Result Of Increased Equity Exposure And Low Market Volatility

TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE:AMTD), is today revealing the Investor Movement Index SM score for February 2013. The Investor Movement Index, or the IMX SM, 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 actually positioned in the markets.

The February 2013 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending Feb. 22, 2013, reveals:

  • Score: 5.14 (compared to 4.71 in January)
  • Trend Direction: Positive
  • Trend Length: 1 Month
  • Score relative to historic ranges: High

February’s IMX score is the highest seen since June 2011 and part of an increasingly bullish trend spanning much of the last seven months. In February, retail investors at TD Ameritrade continued to show signs of bullishness. Net buyers in the markets, investors were rotating their equity exposure, selling securities at highs and buying into lows. Portfolio positioning also played a role in the higher monthly score. Volatility across the broad market, as measured by indicators like the VIX, was quite low in February. TD Ameritrade clients held or increased their exposure to securities with higher relative volatility compared to that of the general market. This was a key factor in the higher IMX score seen in February.

“This score is a contrast to January’s IMX number, which dipped slightly from December after several months of gains,” said Steve Quirk, senior vice president of TD Ameritrade's Trader Group. “Given the circumstances around that time frame, such as uncertainty regarding the fiscal cliff and annual portfolio adjustments typically made at that time of year, it likely reflected unique conditions at year end. Now that those events are behind us, we are seeing results more aligned with national consumer sentiment indices.”

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