NEW YORK -- Bullish retail investors are helping push stocks near all-time highs, according to retail brokerage TD Ameritrade.
Retail investors have steadily been increasing their exposure to the stock market over the last seven months, said Steve Quirk, senior vice president of TD Ameritrade's Trader Group.
Investors seemed to have shrugged off the looming spending cuts because of U.S. budget "sequestration" and the recent Italian election that threatened to rekindle European instability as the continent tries to overcome its debt crisis and recession.
“They are not deterred,” Quirk said.
TD’s Investor Movement Index rose to a bullish 5.14 in February, up from 4.71 in January and the highest reading since June 2011.