If corporate insider activity is any guide to where stock prices are headed, now’s a good time to sell.
Corporate insiders have sold 82 times more stock than they’ve bought in recent days, according to Zerohedge.com: $957 million of sales versus $11.6 million of purchases.
Zerohedge’s calculations were based on purchase and sales data published on Finviz.com.
Experts often use insider activity statistics to predict future market moves.
The Finviz data showed that stock sales accounted for the seven biggest insider transactions, excluding options, during the first week of December.
The three biggest share sales for a stock trading on U.S. exchanges came at Warner Chilcott, an Ireland based drug developer that trades on Nasdaq.
Three of its directors sold $92.5 million of shares, $90.5 million and $87.8 million respectively.
Next was the technology company Apple, where senior vice president Ronald Johnson sold $40.3 million of the company’s shares.
In fifth place was Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil-field services company. CEO Andrew Gould sold $36 million of his company’s stock.
On the buying side, the biggest purchase came at Martin Midstream Partners, which provides oil transportation and storage services. CEO Martin Ruben bought $20 million worth of the stock.
The current sales-to-purchase ratio of 82 represents a jump from 22 in June, according to The Business Insider.
“Executives merely selling in order to fund their Christmas purchases? Tax-related selling? One can only hope,” the publication says.
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