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 February 8, 2016 - 12:30 PM EST
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TD Ameritrade's Investor Movement Index: Clients Were Net Buyers of Equities in January

Overall market volatility paired with relative stability of some widely held positions counteracted client buying to lower IMX score

TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (Nasdaq:AMTD), is today releasing the Investor Movement Index® reading for January 2016. The Investor Movement Index, or the IMXSM, 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.

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The January 2016 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending January 29, 2016, reveals:

  • Reading: 4.52 (compared to 4.92 in December)
  • Trend direction: Negative
  • Trend length: 1 month
  • Score relative to historic ranges: Middle

The IMX decreased to 4.52 in January while the S&P 500 plunged lower, having its worst start to a year since 2010.

TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers of equities in January, activity that usually helps to increase an account’s relative exposure to the market. This month, however, an increase in overall market volatility coupled with the relative stability of some widely held positions resulted in a decrease in the IMX reading.

“The equity market decline in January made for a rough month for many investors,” said Nicole Sherrod, managing director of trading at TD Ameritrade. “There’s no shortage of factors for investors to weigh as they determine how to move forward. However, many of our clients seized the decline in the broad markets as a buying opportunity in some of their favorite companies. We saw net buying in dividend paying and lower volatility stocks.”

Volatility of the S&P 500 as measured by the VIX remained elevated throughout January, never closing below 19. For context, the VIX’s average closing price in 2015 was around 17. This volatility translated into lower prices, as both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 6% during the January IMX period. Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average fell back to August 2015 levels, when markets saw a sharp decline. The other major market indices also declined, with the Russell 2000 losing about 10% — driving it to values not seen since 2013 — while the NASDAQ Composite was off more than 8%. Global economic concerns, including sharp sell offs in the Chinese stock market that triggered circuit breakers and halts to trading, seemed to drag the markets lower. An increase in crude oil supply put pressure on the price of that commodity, which seemed to affect the stock markets adversely. As stock markets plunged, treasury bonds rallied indicating a flight to safety. Dividend paying stocks seemed to also outperform the broad equity markets as indicated by the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index.

January earnings announcements seemed to draw some attention within TD Ameritrade client accounts. Facebook Inc. (FB) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) both announced earnings in January and were net buys. Facebook’s share price surged after it beat expectations in both earnings and revenue. (NFLX), which announced a global expansion of its streaming video offering earlier than expected, was also a net buy in January. Dividend payers were also popular net buys. AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Inc. (VZ) and Ford Motor Company (F) all have relatively high dividend yields and were net buys during the most recent IMX period as well.

Despite being net buyers of equities overall, there were some companies that TD Ameritrade clients net sold in January. Yahoo! (YHOO) traded down towards a level of support around $28 per share in January and was net sold. The company has been in the news recently after abandoning its plan to spin off its stake in Alibaba Holding Group (BABA), which was also net sold in January. Alibaba’s shares have been down amid concerns about the Chinese economy. Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) was another popular name that saw net selling. The company’s share price has been tightly range bound since early December when a merger was announced that would take the company private.

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 month. 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.

For more information on the Investor Movement Index, including historical IMX data going back to December 2010, to view the full report from January 2016, or to sign up for future IMX news alerts, please visit Additionally, TD Ameritrade clients can chart the IMX using the symbol $IMX in either the thinkorswim® or TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader platforms.

Inclusion of specific security names in this commentary does not constitute a recommendation from TD Ameritrade to buy, sell, or hold.

Past performance of a security, strategy or index is no guarantee of future results or investment success.

Historical data should not be used alone when making investment decisions. Please consult other sources of information and consider your individual financial position and goals before making an independent investment decision.

The IMX is not a tradable index. The IMX should not be used as an indicator or predictor of future client trading volume or financial performance for TD Ameritrade.

For the latest TD Ameritrade news and information, follow the Company on Twitter, @TDAmeritradePR.

Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
Millions of investors and independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) have turned to TD Ameritrade’s (Nasdaq: AMTD) technology, people and education to help make investing and trading easier to understand and do. Online or over the phone. In a branch or with an independent RIA. First-timer or sophisticated trader. Our clients want to take control, and we help them decide how — bringing Wall Street to Main Street for more than 40 years. An official sponsor of the 2014 and 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, TD Ameritrade has time and again been recognized as a leader in investment services. Please visit TD Ameritrade’s newsroom or for more information.

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TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
For Media:
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Communications & Public Affairs
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Jeff Goeser, 402-597-8464
Investor Relations & Finance

Source: Business Wire (February 8, 2016 - 12:30 PM EST)

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