Equity markets rebounded in a historical fashion from the lows in March 2020 to the end of the year, driven by vaccine optimism, low rates, and continued stimulus funding.
Margin loan balances increased during the pandemic, eclipsing $722 billion through November and surpassing the previous high of $668 billion in May 2018, as reported by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Despite headwinds from the pandemic, global equity markets were resilient for the most part, ending the year with favorable returns. Growth and momentum led with the technology and consumer discretionary sectors elevating the most.
The dramatic COVID-linked selloff in March and the subsequent recovery by August were of historical proportion, with unprecedented recaptures across nearly all sectors of the equity markets in 2020.
Sources: FINRA, Bloomberg
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