Arms Index shows stock market’s selloff is relatively calm


The Arms Indexes for both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq exchange are showing that investors are behaving in a relatively calm fashion despite the steep declines in the market indexes. The Arms is a volume-weighted breadth measure that is used to depict the intensity of selling and buying in declining and advancing stocks, by comparing the ratio of advancing stocks to declining stocks to the ratio of advancing volume to declining volume. The Arms tends to rise above 1.000 when stocks fall, with many believing readings above 2.000 depict panic-like selling behavior. But while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.69% was down 695 points, or 2.2% in morning trading, the S&P 500 SPX, -1.38% was losing 2.0% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.18% was falling 1.1%, the NYSE Arms was up to just 1.191 and the Nasdaq Arms was actually down to 0.698 according to FactSet. That comes as the ratio of the number of declining stocks to advancers was 4.4-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.9-to-1 on the Nasdaq, while the ratio of volume in declining stock to advancing volume was 5.2-to-1 on the Big Board and 1.3-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

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