Insider Selling Outpaces Buying By 24 Times In Last Week

Tyler Durden's picture

What is there to say about the endless barrage of insider sales that hasn't been said for 9 straight months before. Insiders are selling into the neverending rally, as domestic mutual funds have no equity inflows, yet stocks somehow miraculously keep rising, providing yet more attractive exit price points for directors and insiders. In the past week insiders bought $18 million worth of stock and sold $419 million. There is no way to spin this data. There were no notable buyers, while Nelson Peltz was vacating HNZ shares with a vengeance, selling $30 million worth of the canned food maker. Ralph Lauren also apparently wasn't too hot on Polo's Spring/Summer collection.

Full list:



Source: finviz.


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Mad Max's picture

I hope I'm not asking a dumb question, but how would we know what proportion of this selling is from:

-stock purchased as stock options, perhaps at early 2009 prices?

-stock obtained as stock grants?

-other stock that is given as compensation and may not reflect the person's voluntary and intentional investment choice?

I realize that this is a bearish sign regardless, but I think it would be a lot less bearish if much of the selling was just turning into cash of stock compensation.

Tyler Durden's picture

All option exercises are excluded from the calculation in order to capture just stock sales

Mad Max's picture

That answers my question, thanks.

Anonymous's picture

What isn't calculated in the Insider selling/buying figures is former employees (that were Section 16 officers) that are no longer subject to filing rules. After 6 months, former officers can sell stock/options without filing with the SEC. The # of sellers is much greater than the numbers represent. Trust me...this numvber is huge. Meg Whitman, Jerry Yang, Ken Lewis (soon).

Anonymous's picture

had it not been for the $18m purchase by some director at HT, the ratio would have blown thru the roof....

I see the masses have stopped reading the details and wants Tyler Durden and his Mistress to do the work...

Ideots have slept again?

sondog's picture

So what does the total for 2009 look like and how does it compare to past years?

Species8472's picture

Maybe the insiders are just hard up and need cash now?

Rainman's picture

Note to Tyler for question to the inquisitive Mary.


deadhead's picture

anyone notice that during the entire rally virtually no bank insiders (notable exception the GS guy in London) have sold?

it's gotta be killing them but you just know there is a little unwritten rule that if any senior people sell, they might as well tender their resignation along with their sell order.


El Hosel's picture

 DRTYFRKRS>>>If you are rigging the game and you still lose you deserve to go down with the ship, Arr Matey.

Edna R. Rider's picture

dh, I believe Buffett made it a condition of his 10bn investment that the senior execs at the squid wouldn't sell.  I may be wrong.

Anonymous's picture

This is what put options are for. Shorting is too dangerous.

Maybe this is who buys all those 3x bear ETFs? Insiders?

Anonymous's picture

Mad Max,

I see where you are coming from to the extent the seller may have been viewing a portion of his stock compensation as part of his/her income and sold some shares for periodic or planned expenditures. But, I don't think that is a very big percentage of the total. This is a very bearish report.

Tyler, nice work with the Lauren reference. And, that really highlights what this means in real terms. I don't imagine Ralph just happened to need 10 mil cash about now.
I think Ralph probably knows his industry better than any of us. He thinks retail is going down. Wanna bet against him? Go ahead.

sickboy's picture

When ICAPs Michael Spencer starts selling his and his family trusts holdings in size, you know to take the hint. Generally someone who has been good with market timing and whose business has managed to grow and prosper(read rape and pillage) during these interesting times.

So very illuminating that he should be liquidating so heavily.

Insider selling really is a very good, time proven measure of an enterprises confidence. But how do you get that as a macro level indicator?

PIMCO's Bill Gross sells govies, munies etc...Or GS sends out another buy rating, on anything.

10044's picture

damn you guys are good, where do you find stuff like this??

no matter who buys or sells, as long as there is PPT mob in the market, nobody knows for sure what's going on,,,, it is NOT a free market.

Eternal Student's picture

I've been reading about the vast majority of insiders selling for what seems like a year now. This means that a lot of insiders have missed out on one of the largest rallies that they'll ever see. While their selling might be an indictor of how they view their own market, it is not an indicator of the Stock Market. Green shoots and hopium and all that.

BS Inc.'s picture

Most of the rally was over by the end of September and many, many stocks topped in October at the latest. That seems to be something bulls forget. The market's been crawling upward at about the pace of 1 point per trading day or something like that. Insiders probably knew that green shoots were BS by the end of September anyway, so I doubt they've been losing sleep over the last 7-8% move.

I've yet to hear any bull express concern over the glacial pace of movement upward, yet it seems to me indicative of a market that is struggling to progress. If the market can't go up, it'll go down.

Anonymous's picture

Yeah... why lose sleep about +10% in the last two months.

Thats not alot, is it?

Wait 2 months, ask again.

DavidC's picture

No, it's not bearish.

New highs for the year today...

I wish I had a sense of irony.


Anonymous's picture

Actually Wall St. is printing their OWN money...diluting the REST of US!

Yet this topic has been TOTALLY ignored by 99.9%...For all that Inside selling...they just ISSUE more options...for MORE shares...GOT IT?

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

shouldn't selling shares dilute the pool, hence bring the price down.  I know supply and demand is not always accurate, brain hurts!

Assetman's picture

Yeah... the diluting stuff has been going on for decades, but shareholders have been apporving it as well-- many times, overwhelmingly.

At this stage of a stock market expansion, it's not the buy/sell ratio that interests me-- it's the pace of insider sellings, and how much it is reducing executive holdings.  And right now, there aren't many signs of panic selling, and most of it is occurring a periodic highs.  Heh.

Intertesting somebody should note options.  It's not the exercises that interest me, but the granting of new options-- right now, it just isn't happening.  Many firms are purposefully holding out and letting current plans approach almost zero capacity.  What that tells me is that executives are confident they can load with new grants a much lower prices, otherwise they'd be taking granting liberties right now.

Unoftunately, there are some execs that must feel the same way we all do... asking "when are we going to get the big break?", because they know lower values are coming-- but they have no control over the "when".

Thanks for the OP and the above response...

-273's picture

Been happening for centuries, not decades. Read about the Missisipi scheme and the south sea bubble in:



Published in 1852.

no cnbc cretin's picture

Your headline says it all. The DOW/market, is not sustainable, people who think so, know nothing. That's fine, they will soon be disappointed big time. Gold, cash, land.

Harbourcity's picture

Not to be a conspiracy nut but I wonder if there is a list outlining whom and how many shares insiders can sell so that it's not obvious that the market rally exist solely to allow the elite to transfer the future losses to US citizens.  It would have to be planned out in such a way that the SEC can feign ignorance.  Rats abandoning the ship.


Anonymous's picture

The US Gov (controlled effectively by the ultra wealthy) have the treasury,regulators and the fed to do their bidding.


--They avoided a radical haircut with TARP
--They got their Gov minions to institute a number of programs to have public money flow their way
--They got their gov regulators to look the other way if any question arose to the legality of their actions
-- They managed to get Freddie/Fannie/Ginnie Mae/FNA etc. sucking up their mistakes and putting into on the public tab

Is it any surprise that they have engineered a Stock Market rise to sell into?

No, I will not apologize for being a tin hat.
Our enemy is very intelligent,savvy, and experienced.

These few folks know how to manipulate BIGTIME.

Our goal should be to shut them down....then seek them out and decapitate them!

Mad Max's picture

Finally, a small glimmer of hope.  Should we call it a Brown shoot?  (I am sincerely glad he won, in case it's not clear.)

Gold...Bitches's picture

not that it really matters.  the dems couldnt do anything with 60 senators and all three branches as it was.


The irony is too good though.  The seat that would allow them to retain theoretical filibustter proof majority to pass health care will now be opposed by the person who won the seat whose former occupant considered health care reform to be his legacy.



Rick64's picture

Nothing will change. BTW anybody see WGO 10 day chart . Suspicious? I guess they are going to sell a lot of winnebagos.

Anonymous's picture

Since everyone here likes conspiracy. I will say something very out there.....I speculate that Brown won because Democrats did not push for their candidate at all. This win gave them a way out of many policies they realized evolved to unrecognizable monsters...

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Dear TD,



Seriously though.  If it is not insider buying raising the stock prices and it is not the Doe'Larr anymore, than what the hell is going on?  Are the Plunger boys really using their sucker on us that hard?  Ouch mayne!

Harbourcity's picture

As I understand it, the buyer is the US government, converting taxpayer wealth into banker wealth.  Racism has allowed Obama to rob this country blind.

Anonymous's picture

So sorry - I missed (By 4 months).

I called the end in October 2009 - missed it!

Underestimated the FED and Ben's (influence) power - SORRY!

We've got 30-60 day's.

So Sorry - I did not anticipate the FEDs long arm

Anonymous's picture

So sorry - I missed
(By 4 months)

I called the end in October 2009 - missed it!

Underestimated the FED and Ben - SORRY!

We've got 30-60 day's.

So Sorry

I did not anticipate the FEDs long arm

Bthewee's picture

So sorry - I missed it

(By 4 months {a whole quarter} no less)


I called the stock (ease/run-up) END in October 2009 - missed it! 

Underestimated the FED and Ben - SORRY!

New Call - We've got 30-60 day's.

So Sorry

I did not anticipate the FEDs long arm

Anonymous's picture

I have been reading reports saying "insiders selling like crazy" for the past 4 months all the while the stock market marches higher.

ED's picture

What I'd like to know then is where they been buying?

mule65's picture

Easy -- insiders are selling their own and buying everything else.

Anonymous's picture

The neat thing is insiders have jack shit for buying power compared to the rest of the world. Their actions are irrelevant to justify the lack of decline in an equity index.