TD Ameritrade's Investor Movement Index (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 March 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 March 2014 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending March 28, 2014, reveals:
  • Reading: 5.87 (compared to 5.74 in February)
  • Trend direction: Positive
  • Trend length: 6 months
  • Score relative to historic ranges: High

March’s IMX reading rose for the sixth consecutive month and above the previous record high of 5.74 set in February 2014. The S&P 500 climbed to a new record early in March, but then took a few steps down to eventually close the month relatively flat compared to February. Overall, TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers in March as they continued to increase their exposure to the equity markets. Net buying activity was strongest during the second week of March, when the S&P 500 declined amid rising political tensions over Crimea and concerns of a potential economic slowdown in China. The technology and healthcare sectors were popular buys, while consumer goods stocks were net sold. Net selling in mutual funds and ETFs that focus on International stocks continued as well.

Biotech and social media stocks were volatile in March, and clients seemed to view the declines as a buying opportunity for some specific names, including Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Facebook (FB). Green energy companies – such as Fuel Cell (FCEL) and Plug Power (PLUG) – were also popular buys in March. Well-known dividend-paying names including Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP), Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI), and Verizon (VZ) saw net buying activity; all three had dividend yields over 4%.

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