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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 releasing the Investor Movement Index ® reading for April 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 April 2014 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending April 25, 2014, reveals:

  • Reading: 5.67 (compared to 5.87 in March)
  • Trend direction: Negative
  • Trend length: 1 month
  • Score relative to historic ranges: High

April’s IMX reading declined for the first time in seven months. The IMX remained at the high end of its historical range in April while equity markets were volatile. The S&P 500 traded at record highs only to give up ground in the second week, declining to levels not seen since February 2014. The third and fourth week brought a rebound in prices as earnings announcements ramped up and Ukraine related tensions began to ease. The S&P 500 ended the period slightly above where it was during the last IMX reading. TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers overall. Net buying activity favored the Technology and Services sectors, while the Consumer Goods and Basic Materials sectors saw net selling. Clients were also net buyers of fixed income products including fixed income ETFs and Mutual Funds.

Although clients were slight net buyers overall, equity market exposure declined as their portfolios (net of trading activity) were less volatile relative to the S&P 500 than in previous periods. This lowered clients’ sensitivity to the equity markets and drove the IMX down.

“This is the first decline we’ve seen in several months as clients have adjusted their portfolios and dialed back equity market exposure,” said Nicole Sherrod, managing director of the trader group, TD Ameritrade. “However, the IMX remains at the high end of its range, at bullish levels.”

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