Is It Time To Start Asking Again “Has Margin Debt Peaked?”

NYSE margin debt has been steadily moving higher this year as it increased over $60 billion from January to April. In May, however, margin debt declined by a little over $8 billion for the first decline in four months. Before one gets too excited, it is worth remembering that one month doesn’t make a trend. Margin debt looked as if it peaked in February 2014 before it moved sideways for 11 months and then broke out to new highs. The 1-quarter moving average of margin debt as a % of total NYSE market cap has increased to the third highest level since 2003. Net margin debt as a % of total market capitalization is at an all-time high.

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