TD Ameritrade’s investor sentiment index fell in July after rising in June, as customers sold shares of companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, which rose after announcing second-quarter earnings.
The Omaha-based online stock brokerage said this week its Investor Movement Index fell to 4.87, from 5.15. The index is still “moderately high” compared with historic levels, the company said, but the lowest since January.
“Over the last few months with the markets in record territory, clients have expressed some hesitancy to increase exposure,” said Steve Quirk, senior vice president of TD Ameritrade’s Trader Group. “Clients are managing their risk at these levels by taking profits in some symbols and rotating to others when price dips indicate potential opportunities.”
TD Ameritrade, which employs about 2,000 people in Omaha, said customers “seemed to anticipate a pullback” as the Standard & Poor’s index of 500 stocks rallied to a record high last month.
“Like last month, clients were net sellers of fixed-income mutual funds and fixed-income exchange traded funds, but the level of net selling activity decreased month over month,” the company said.
The index is created by analyzing and averaging the holdings, positions, trades and other data from TD Ameritrade’s 6 million customers. The information is then boiled down to an index; a rising index suggests bullish sentiment, a falling one bearish.
TD Ameritrade said customers were net buyers in July of companies whose share prices dipped after announcing earnings. They included Coca-Cola, Boeing, AT&T and Advanced Micro Devices. Customers, the company said, continued to buy shares of electric-car maker Tesla Motors.
“Facebook continues to be widely held,” the company said. “TD Ameritrade clients have been accumulating it since its initial public offering.” The company said customers were net sellers of Baidu Inc. and EMC Corp.