Can you please tell me where I can find information intraday to know if the institutions are on the selling side or buy side. (July 12, 2003)
During any individual session there are several signals we look for to see if institutions are net buyers are sellers. The fundamental indication is whether the market overall is rising or falling on stronger volume. If volume is running stronger, then the market move has institutions behind it as they control over 70% of the money in the market. Rising prices on rising volume is accumulation; falling prices on rising volume is distribution (selling). Watching leaders and their price/volume action as well is another indication as the leaders set the pace for the rest of the market.
In addition to the primary indicator of price/volume action on the indexes and leading stocks, we also talk with floor traders and brokers for some big institutional clients. While sometimes they are coy with what is going on they typically provide some valuable and accurate information. They may not say who is buying or selling, but they will tell you if it is a large institution.
Along the same lines we check into block trades, i.e., trades of 10,000 shares ore more. Those large trades require a lot of money and typically are the footprints of the big money controlled by institutions. Gains or declines accompanied by a lot of block trades is another signal of institutional involvement. Block trades can also be used as a measure of the intensity of the trading. 25K or more block trades starts to show some heavy action.
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