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Warning: Insider Selling Jumps to Highest Level Since 2007

  • The smoke and mirror continues. Stock market is rallying. Let’s be optimistic and let the casino continue right? We have a hot hand here!? The pandemic flu will not affect the economy materially right? I don’t think so! Bloomberg reports:
     
    April 24 (Bloomberg) — Executives and insiders at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the steepest stock market gains since 1938 to unload shares at the fastest pace since the start of the bear market.Gap Inc.’s founding family sold $45 million of shares in the largest U.S. clothing retailer this month, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings compiled by Bloomberg. Daniel Warmenhoven, the chief executive officer at NetApp Inc., liquidated the most stock of the storage-computer maker in more than six years. Sales by the co-founders of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. were the highest since at least 2001.
     
    While the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 28 percent from a 12-year low on March 9, CEOs, directors and senior officers at U.S. companies sold $353 million of equities this month, or 8.3 times more than they bought, data compiled by Washington Service, a Bethesda, Maryland-based research firm, show. That’s a warning sign because insiders usually have more information about their companies’ prospects than anyone else, according to William Stone at PNC Financial Services Group Inc.
     
    “They should know more than outsiders would, so you could take it as a signal that there is something wrong if they’re selling,” said Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC’s wealth management unit, which oversees $110 billion in Philadelphia. “Whether it’s a sustainable rebound is still in question. I’d prefer they were buying.”
     
    Insiders Sell
    Insiders from New York Stock Exchange-listed companies sold $8.32 worth of stock for every dollar bought in the first three weeks of April, according to Washington Service, which analyzes stock transactions of corporate insiders for more than 500 institutional clients.
     
    That’s the fastest rate of selling since October 2007, when U.S. stocks peaked and the 17-month bear market that wiped out more than half the market value of U.S. companies began. The $42.5 million in insider purchases through April 20 would represent the smallest amount for a full month since July 1992, data going back more than 20 years show. That drop preceded a 2.4 percent slide in the S&P 500 in August 1992.
     
    The index rose 1.7 percent to 866.23 today after the Federal Reserve said most banks that underwent stress tests hold enough capital and companies from Ford Motor Co. to American Express Co. posted better-than-estimated results.

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April 30, 2009 - Posted by | Economics |

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