Retail Investors Most Bearish in 7 Months on new taper fears

Retail investors took profits in July on fears about the Federal Reserve’s exit plan from its monster monetary stimulus, with the group showing the lowest sentiment reading since January, according to data culled from the largest pool of retail traders by TD Ameritrade.

The firm’s proprietary “Investor Movement Index” released Monday showed a 4.87 reading, down from a bullish 5.15 reading in June. They were net sellers of equities last month, especially in shares of 2013 highfliers like Hewlett Packard, Cisco and Time Warner Cable.

“I think its taper fears,” said Steve Quirk, senior vice president of TD Ameritrade’s Trader Group. “The investing public is not stupid. They know it’s coming and this is probably a point that if you’ve seen appreciable gains, you should start to take them off the table.”

The S&P 500 jumped to a record high last week as a solid, but a not super jobs report gave professional investors the impression that the Fed could hold off from dialing back bond buying (QE3) in September/October. Or at the very least, according to their thinking, the economy is now strong enough to handle it.


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Mingze Wu

Mingze Wu

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Based in Singapore, Mingze Wu focuses on trading strategies and technical and fundamental analysis of major currency pairs. He has extensive trading experience across different asset classes and is well-versed in global market fundamentals. In addition to contributing articles to MarketPulseFX, Mingze centers on forex and macro-economic trends impacting the Asia Pacific region.
Mingze Wu