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TD Ameritrade's IMX Vs. S&P 500 (Graphic: Business Wire)

TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE:AMTD), is today revealing the Investor Movement Index ® reading for February 2014. 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 February 2014 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending February 28, 2014, reveals:

  • Reading: 5.74 (compared to 5.66 in January)
  • Trend direction: Positive
  • Trend length: 5 months
  • Score relative to historic ranges: High

February’s IMX reading rose for the fifth consecutive month and above the previous record high of 5.66 set in January 2014. TD Ameritrade clients were well positioned for the rally in February as they built up market exposure in January when the S&P 500 declined. The IMX has increased for five consecutive months, which is the longest upward trend in nearly two years. Since tracking of the IMX began in January 2010, the longest run of consecutive increases was the six months ending in March 2011. Net buying activity in individual equities was concentrated in technology and mixed across other sectors. Clients appeared to be focused on stock-picking strategies, as net buying activity in U.S. ETFs and mutual funds was lower than in previous months. International stock mutual funds and ETFs were net sold amidst economic concerns in emerging markets.

Net buying activity within the technology sector favored Google (GOOG), AT&T (T), Twitter (TWTR), and Verizon (VZ). TD Ameritrade clients appeared to treat volatility in widely held names – including General Electric (GE), Amazon (AMZN), and Coca Cola (KO) – as an opportunity to build up positions. Net buying activity also favored Chevron (CVX), Kinder Morgan (KMP), and Sea Drill (SDRL); each of these energy-related companies were trading at multi-month lows. While clients were net buyers overall in the technology sector, they were net sellers of some widely held names: Nokia (NOK), Alcatel (ALU), Cisco (CSCO), and Yahoo (YHOO). Caterpillar (CAT) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) both saw new highs in February, which clients seemed to view as an opportunity to sell. Clients also lightened positions in Apple (AAPL), which recently bounced higher off of a multi-month low.

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