Exposure to equity markets increased in TD Ameritrade client accounts during the August period. The IMX score increased 0.30, or 6.48%, to 4.93.
TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers of equities for the sixth month in a row, and net buyers overall. Net buying was the heaviest among Information Technology, Consumer Discretionary, and Health Care sectors, with additional buying in less risky assets, including fixed income. Market volatility was generally light during the period. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, didn’t close above 25 during the period. This marks the first IMX period since January to not have a closing price higher than 25.
Equity markets continued their upward trend during the August period, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both ending the period at record highs and crossing historic marks during the period. The S&P 500 closed above 3,500 for the first time ever, while the Nasdaq crossed 11,000 for the first time. For the period, the S&P 500 increased 7.24% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 8.42%. Tech stocks led the charge higher as the Nasdaq Composite increased by 8.84%. The move higher was bolstered by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcing late in the period it had approved the use of blood plasma from patients who have recovered from the disease as a treatment. The FDA also announced emergency use of Abbott Laboratories’ BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card for detecting active coronavirus infections. The test, which is roughly the size of a credit card, takes 15 minutes to return results and will cost $5. Abbott announced it will produce 50 million tests per month, which raised hopes that we can coexist with the virus while we await a safe and effective vaccine. The