TD Ameritrade clients increased equity market exposure for the fourth month in a row during the January IMX period. The IMX increased to 5.68, up 2.34%, from 5.55 the previous period, reaching the highest point since October 2018.
TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers during the January period, and net buyers of equities which pushed the IMX score higher. Market volatility was light early in the period but spiked the last week of January. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, which measures the volatility of the S&P 500 Index, increased above 19 for the first time since October.
The January IMX period saw more all-time highs for equity markets. The S&P 500 crossed 3,300 for the first time ever, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average breached 29,000. Returns for the three major equities indices were mixed during the period. The S&P 500 and Dow were both down slightly, 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 1.6%. Gains early in the period were helped by the U.S. and China signing a deal to ease trade tensions, and solid economic data including an unemployment rate that remained at a 50-year low of 3.5%. Volatility picked up later in the period as the coronavirus outbreak amplified, with the World Health Organization declaring it a global public health emergency, leading to concerns regarding global growth.
TD Ameritrade clients were net buyers of equities during the January period. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) were both net buys, with each company beating on earnings and receiving multiple analyst upgrades during the period. Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) announced it is pushing back its timetable for regulators to approve the return of the 737 MAX, sending the stock lower, and was net bought on the weakness. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: