Market Overview

TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index: IMX Matches Equity Markets at Their High Point


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 September 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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TD Ameritrade's IMX (Credit: TD Ameritrade)

TD Ameritrade's IMX (Credit: TD Ameritrade)

The September 2016 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending September 30, 2016, reveals:

  • Reading: 5.49 (compared to 5.26 in August)
  • Trend direction: Positive
  • Trend length: 2 months
  • Score relative to historic ranges: High

The IMX rose 4.37% percent to 5.49 in September as retail investors increased their equity exposure for a second month. Despite a brief spike mid-month, volatility of the S&P 500 remained low, helping to drive up relative volatility in some widely held positions.

"Clients were net buyers in September, increasing their equity exposure throughout the month," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist for TD Ameritrade. "Along with the high relative volatility of some widely held positions, the IMX soared to its highest point in two years at a time when the major equity markets were at or near their all-time highs as well. As earnings season gets underway in earnest this month, and the election looms, it will be interesting to watch whether clients change up some of their investment decisions after a couple months of volatility being quiet."

Tech stocks and small caps didn't fall prey to the historically dismal "September Swoon." Both the NASDAQ Composite and Russell 2000 increased more than 1 percent. The S&P 500 was relatively flat, losing just 0.04 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.47 percent during the September IMX period. The Fed met again in September and decided to hold their key rate steady, but left the door open for a December rate hike, saying "the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened."

Being net buyers this past month, TD Ameritrade clients scouted dividend payers like Verizon Communications (VZ) and AT&T Inc. (T). Both stocks yield more than 4 percent and have seen downward pressure since setting new highs in July. Tech sector favorite Facebook Inc. (FB), which set another all-time high early in the month, remained a popular net buy in September. Clients also picked up shares in companies that have seen recent declines as well. Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) rebounded in September after declining in August and was a net buy. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Frontier Communications Corp. (FTR) saw downward pressure in September and were also net buys.

Clients still found some opportunities to unload popular and widely held names sold in September, despite being net buyers. Apple Inc. (AAPL) saw gains during the period surrounding the announcement of its new model of phones and was net sold. Inc. (NFLX), which has traded within a wide range since declines earlier in the year, was also net sold. Companies seeing recent gains were popular net sells as well in September. Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA) rose to a new 52 week high following a favorable earnings announcement last month and was net sold. Intel Corp. (INTC) rose to a new all-time high and was also net sold.

About the IMX

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 September 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) technologypeople 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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Investor Relations & Finance

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