TradeKing Survey: Active Investors See Market Direction as Too Tough to Call; All Eyes on New President's Economic and Energy Policies -- In Online Broker Client Survey, Election and Signs of Recession Unseat Oil Prices as Top Market Triggers; Energy & Healthcare Sectors Flagged as "Long" Opportunities

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Despite historic market lows, most active investors still aren’t ready to call the bottom or head to the sidelines, according to a late October survey of more than 400 equities and options traders conducted by online broker TradeKing (http://www.tradeking.com). Thirty six percent of equities traders (ET) and 40 percent of options traders (OT) described their market outlook as “neutral/not sure”, compared with 43 percent ET and 33 percent OT last July. However, bearish sentiment continues to climb, with 40 percent ET and 42 percent OT describing themselves as either “bearish” or “very bearish”, up from 31 percent ET and 39 percent OT in July.

From trading options that take advantage of volatility to capitalizing on sector-specific opportunities, our clients are still finding ways to protect and enhance their overall portfolio performance.

"The rapid increase in account growth and trading activity we're seeing at TradeKing tells us that, while investors may not be certain of where the market is going, they see opportunity even in this volatile environment," said Don Montanaro, CEO of TradeKing. "From trading options that take advantage of volatility to capitalizing on sector-specific opportunities, our clients are still finding ways to protect and enhance their overall portfolio performance."

Not surprisingly, the presidential election took top place among potential market triggers earning 43 percent of total responses, followed by evidence of recession (36 percent) and shifts in the housing market (32 percent). For the first time since April, oil prices were not selected as the top trigger, falling this month to fifth place on equity traders' lists and eighth place for options traders.

The Long and Short Bets

The survey also showed that energy and healthcare/biotech held steady for the second consecutive quarter as equities and options traders' top picks for long positions in the fourth quarter. Energy received 46 percent of total responses, up from 44 percent in July, while healthcare/biotech earned 39 percent, down slightly from 41 percent in July. The utilities sector followed with 34 percent. From a short position, the retail (34 percent), entertainment (22 percent) and transportation/travel (21 percent) sectors received the most votes.

The in-house survey was conducted October 28-30, 2008, via email to 5,000 TradeKing clients. The survey results were segmented into two client groups: those who trade "options only" with TradeKing and those who trade "equities only".1

TradeKing Clients Weigh in on Presidential Election

Active investors favor McCain slightly with strongest support among options traders

Thirty-five percent (ET) and 43 percent (OT) prefer McCain for president, while 33 percent (ET) and 32 percent (OT) favor Obama. Twelve percent in both the equities and options trading groups described themselves as "undecided." Asked to pick the newly elected president's top three political priorities upon taking office, equity and options investors agreed the new president should focus first on economic growth (62 percent of total respondents), then on energy policy (49 percent) and financial sector regulation reform (35 percent). These areas all came ahead of matters including the Iraq War, healthcare reform and education reform. About TradeKing

TradeKing was rated number one in customer service by SmartMoney Magazine, ahead of E

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