Retail sales in the U.S. may be down this year, due to a shortened shopping season, the economy, or even the weather, but Insider Sales of stocks topped all records last week - even after a huge week prior to last. Insider Selling is a Sentiment measure based on Corporate Officers, Board members, and even holders of 10% of the stock - think Carl Icahn. Recently we learned that the latter group is the "dumb" money, thus this Indicator is less than actionable, although observable.
Weekly selling is almost always less than 1 million shares for all sectors - last week it was 5.5M; the ratio of selling to buying is usually in the low double-digits, say 20:1 or so. Last week it was 106:1, after a 75:1 ratio the prior week - see my market sentiment blog for numbers:
Yet despite all this year end selling, the market seems quite positive, with every day being Groundhog Day. Complacency abounds, with the Investors Intelligence Bulls at a stretched 57% with Bears under 15%, a definite extreme. Other Sentiment extremes last week include money flows - negative $5.7B from equity mutual funds and nearly $35B flowing OUT of money markets (MMF) - the former stat is delayed 1 week.
Finally, totally unnoticed during Uncle Ben's taper talk, which created the reverse stock market action from last summer's revelation, was the increase in yield of the 2-year Treasury note, from .30% to .39%, sometimes used as a measure of Inflation. The McClellan Oscillator and Summation Indices were quite Bullish, rising up through the zero line.
To all my loyal readers, a wish of a happy Holiday (Holy Day??) season, but I just have to get a couple bad puns out of my system this year:
The 2013 year started with problems still ongoing in Greece, where the Economy was so bad, the Greek fishermen were using the barter system to trade - they even held an Octupi the Agora demo rally; sort of a Squid Quo Pro exchange!
Also, it has not been confirmed that the Wisdom Tree people have opened a Financial ETF with the symbol WTF!
That's All Folks