Margin debt hits second straight high

Mar 20, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

By Sam Lewis

Margin debt figures for the New York Stock Exchange hit a record high last month, breaking a record set only a month before that, according to published reports.

Margin debt, as tracked by the NYSE, totaled $295.87 billion in February, up from January’s record of $285.6 billion. In January, it broke the prior high set at the peak of the so-called Internet bubble in 2000.

Margin debt is the amount of money borrowed from brokerages to buy shares.

Through margin accounts, investors are able to purchase shares on credit.

Market analysts track margin debt activity as an indication of investors’ appetite for speculative trading.

The advance has come amidst the market’s end-of-February drop, the full impact of which won’t be known until March’s margin debt figures are released in April.


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