The two major groups in the stock market have been and will always continue to be large, well capitalized and well informed “insiders”; and the small, underfunded, emotional, ignorant retail investors and traders.
These two groups engage in a financial dance which invariably concludes in the long term with one group enriching the second. Although they usually don’t take such contrasting positions, at times they can mirror each other.
A good example was in 2000 at the top of the internet bubble. The knowledgeable, “insider” team made up of hedge funds, investment banks, other Wall St. operators and the private equity team sold bits of paper (shares) in exchange for money from the retail crowd.
Right now we are seeing another one of those times. But this time it is the “insider” team that is on a buying spree.
Commitment of Traders
I’ve already mentioned that the commercials were crazy long equity futures contracts and although some time has passed things have not changed. The commercials are long about $38 billion worth of contracts while the small speculators are long their smallest amount since the bottom of the bear market.
According to fund flows data estimates, as the retail investor is fleeing the equity markets and seeking the sanctuary of bond markets and money market funds, the institutional investor is buying with the same intensity. Watch video about half way on the link.
Corporate executives and other insiders are probably the most knowledgeable about a company’s future and while the market has taken a tumble, they haven’t been spooked. On the contrary, their buying here is only equaled to that seen at the bottom of the bear market. This in contrast to the retail investor who has been buying anything but US equities.
Newsletter Market Timers
The best market timers among the newsletters are wildly bullish, with an equity allocation of 92%. Meanwhile the worst are out of the market completely with a 0% allocation.
Credit: Mark Hulbert in Barron’s
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