Following a months-long trend of relatively flat results, the September edition of the TD Ameritrade's Investor Movement Index fell just 2.38% to a reading of 4.51. This marks the IMX’s eighth month between a 4.5-5.0 reading, which mirrors the range that many broad market indexes have been stuck in since June.
While the index’s absolute value is little changed since August, September’s results do show that TDA clients were net sellers of equities through the course of the month. Instead of stocks, investors turned their attention to the treasury market in the midst of another Fed Rate Cut as well as the billions of dollars the central bank pumped into the short term repurchasing market.
Bought: IPOs and Year-Lows
Although TDA investors were sellers overall, a few names were popular “buy” candidates.
Among these were two of 2019’s highest profiled IPOs, Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) and Slack Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WORK), both of which fell to new all-time lows in the month. However, while Uber is still struggling to find an upside, Slack has begun to bounce in the initial days of October.
This theme of investors buying up stocks hitting new lows extended beyond IPOs. Altria Group (NYSE: MO) was net-bought on the month as the stock slid following a leadership shakeup that came in the wake of controversy surrounding Juul’s marketing practices and a nation-wide vaping illness that has claimed the lives of 14 people.
Other stocks seeing new 52-week lows, like Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA), which missed on its most recent earnings report, or AbbVie Inc, (NYSE: ABBV), which has fallen thanks to its planned acquisition of Allergan (NYSE: AGN), were also net bought through September.
Sold: FANG and Chips
Meanwhile, the trend among what TDA investors sold in September is fairly clear cut.
First of all, every member of the vaunted FANG group of tech stocks was net sold. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Google-parent company Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) mostly traded sideways through the month. Netflix saw the most selling pressure thanks to disappointing subscriber numbers and increased competition from The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Apple, the latter of which showed the best performance in the month following a product event it hosted during the month.
This negative pressure on the tech sector was not isolated among the tech giants. Underwhelming guidance from Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) shaved off interest from other chip makers like NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC).
Finally, investors also turned bearish on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), which continues to be volatile as a result of continued uncertainty in the U.S. China trade conflict.
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