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TD Ameritrade's Top Trading Trends Of 2013 (Graphic: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation)

TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE: AMTD), is today revealing the Investor Movement Index SM reading for December 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 positioned in the markets.

The December 2013 Investor Movement Index for the five weeks ending December 27, 2013, reveals:

  • Reading: 5.62 (compared to 5.42 in November)
  • Trend direction: Positive
  • Trend length: 3 months
  • Score relative to historic ranges: High

December’s IMX reading rose for the third consecutive month and above the previous record high of 5.56 set in June 2011. The S&P 500 traded lower in the first half of December before bouncing to a record high. TD Ameritrade clients appeared to treat the volatility in December as a buying opportunity. Buying activity was broad-based, as clients were net buyers of individual equities and U.S. stock mutual funds/ETFs, which increased their equity market exposure. Clients were net sellers of commodities-based ETFs and mutual funds, which helped reduce their exposure in gold, natural gas, and oil. Widely held names included Apple (AAPL), General Electric (GE), Bank of America (BAC), and Facebook (FB).

“Yet again it appears our clients anticipated the markets moving higher by increasing their exposure to equities,” said Steve Quirk, senior vice president of TD Ameritrade’s Trader Group. “In December we saw rotation out of Facebook (FB) and into Twitter (TWTR), as Facebook rose to a new high and clients continued to accumulate positions in Twitter (TWTR).”

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 two months. 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.

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