Todd Harrison: The Smart Money Strikes Again

By Todd Harrison  APR 11, 2014 10:00 AM

The largest divergence since 2007 screams for attention.


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I'm learning to fly but I ain't got wings; coming down is the hardest thing.
-- Tom Petty, "Learing to Fly"

The following description of the Smart Money Flow Index is from Bloomberg (paraphrased):

The Smart Money Flow Index (SMFI) is calculated by taking the price of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) at 10:00 a.m. on any given day, subtracting it from the previous day's close, and adding it to the next day's closing price. The first 30 minutes represent "emotional buying," driven by greed and fear of the crowd; smart money typically waits until the end of the day.  If/when the DJIA makes a new high that is not confirmed by the SMFI, there is usually trouble ahead.

When we first posted this chart, last Wednesday, April 2, we warned, the smart money is flashing caution.

Chart courtesy of Bloomberg

Since that point, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 452 points -- and that does not include today's Freaky Friday price action.

This morning, we revisited the Smart Money Index, courtesy of Bloomberg, and found the charts below. The first is an apples-to-apples format that we used last week. 

Chart courtesy of Bloomberg
The chart below is the Smart Index-Dow Jones Industrial average spread since 2005 (the difference between the two). You will note that the current chasm between the "smart" money and the rest of the tape is at a divergence last seen in 2007.

Chart courtesy of Bloomberg

There is no Holy Grail when investing, but there are, on occasion, signals that provide the right insight at the right time. This may be one of them.

Random Thoughts:

Nestled within that chart is a housing bubble and bust, the financial crisis, high-frequency trading, multiple central bank interventions and countless Fed jawbones. Not too bad, all things considered; but that was then.


Twitter: @todd_harrison

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

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