Market Overview

UPDATE: TD Ameritrade's IMX Sentiment for Feb. Gains, Now at 5.74

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The IMX rose to 5.74, recording a new high for the third consecutive month as equity markets rallied to all-time highs.

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.

Trading Net buying activity within the technology sector favored Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), AT&T (NYSE: T), Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). TD Ameritrade clients appeared to treat volatility in widely held names - including General Electric (NYSE: GE), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Coca Cola (NYSE: KO) - as an opportunity to build up positions. Net buying activity also favored Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMP), and Sea Drill (NYSE: SDRL); each of these energy-related companies were trading at multi-month lows.

Additional popular names bought included Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD), MasterCard (NYSE: MA), Proctor and Gamble (NYSE: PG), and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).

While clients were net buyers overall in the technology sector, they were net sellers of some widely held names: Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Alcatel (NYSE: ALU), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO). Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR) both saw new highs in February, which clients seemed to view as an opportunity to sell. Clients also lightened positions in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), which recently bounced higher off of a multi-month low.

Additional popular names sold included Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Sirius Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

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