Last Updated: August 6, 2021
The world’s first stock exchange took place in…
…the early 17th century.
In 2020 we need to know more about stock market statistics.
Now, let’s start with some of the most important points:
Amazing Stock Market Statistics (Editor’s Pick):
- $95 trillion is the global stock market value.
- The current stock market crash interrupted a 10-year record.
- On average, the stock market performs the poorest in September.
- The US represents about 55.9% of the total global stock market capitalization.
- 55% of US adults have money in the stock market.
- About 10% of US households hold international equity.
The stock market, also known as share market or equity market, is a fundamental component of a free-market economy. Let’s discover why that is with today’s mind-blowing stock market statistics! It will help us see how a free-trade stock market provides a fairly equal chance to everyone.
Fun Fact: A market that is on the rise and economically stable is called a “bull market,” while the opposite is a “bear market.”
“A stock market is crucial to the existence of capitalism and private property. For it means that there is a functioning market in the exchange of private titles to the means of production. There can be no genuine private ownership of capital without a stock market: there can be no true socialism if such a market is allowed to exist.” (Murray Rothbard, “Making Economic Sense,” 2006)
Read on to find out more interesting stock market stats.
1. The total stock market value is $95 trillion.
Stock market statistics show that the total value of the stock market reached a record high of $95 trillion in November 2020 due to hopes of COVID19 vaccine distribution.
The US is responsible for a huge chunk of that market value. If you combine the US stock exchanges (NYSE and NASDAQ), you get 54.5% of the entire global stock market value, or over $51 trillion.
2. The stock market crash in February 2020 interrupted a bull market record of 10 years.
(Source: Bloomberg, Investopedia)
Prior to February 2020, the bull market had been going on for almost 11 years, which was a great achievement, considering the fact that historical data about stock market statistics shows that it lasts an average of 4.5 years.
On the 20th of February 2020, the market crashed suddenly due to the then newly discovered coronavirus and the resulting economic uncertainty. The coronavirus crash, as it is now commonly known, caused a short-lived bear market, and on the 7th of April 2020, global stock markets re-entered a bull market, which continued through December 2020.
3. As of December 2020, the $1.68 trillion Saudi Arabian Oil Company has the highest market capitalization in the world.
In October 2019, Microsoft was the leading corporation with a market cap of $1.063 trillion. It has since been beaten by the Saudi Arabian oil company and is now valued at $1.359 trillion. It’s closely followed by Apple, valued at around 2 trillion.
4. Share repurchases increased by 22% in Q1 2019.
Since the beginning of 2019, the total value of the stock market increased by more than $5 trillion. This amazing growth shows the widening gap between private investors and corporations. Share repurchases this year already make up $270 billion, which is huge compared to the amount of money drawn from mutual funds.
5. Life and Health Insurance is the industry with the highest revenue and market share in the world.
Financials follow with 15.78% and Health Care with 12.59%. Surprisingly, Real Estate is at the bottom with 3.24%. However, it is among the fastest-growing sectors with more than 20% growth, following behind technology (25% increase) and industrials (23%). Take note of these key statistics for stocks if you’re interested in investing in certain industries!
6. The US accounts for 55.9% of the total world stock market capitalization.
According to data from January 2020, the size of the US stock market outstrips all others. It comprises 55.9% of the total world market. It’s followed by Japan with 7.4% and China with 5.4%.
The US global market capitalization experienced an all-time high in 2020, far above the previous record of 43% in 2018. This growth can be traced back to increases in American equities, a strong dollar value, and an ongoing decline in many international equity markets.
7. On average, the stock market performs the poorest in September.
Is it seasonal depression? Who knows. The September Effect is a curious phenomenon of the financial world everywhere and it is not influenced by any market events or news. Since 1950, both the S&P and the Dow Jones have averaged a slight decline in September. The same is the case with NASDAQ since its beginning in 1971.
However, recent stock market statistics show this effect has begun to disappear. Good!
And speaking of poor performance… In 1931, S&P 500 declined by 47% – the worst on record.
8. Stock market declines of 5 to 10% usually take a month of recovery time.
(Source: Guggenheim Investments)
According to stock market crash statistics, the most common market declines are easiest to recover from. Logically, more major setbacks take considerably longer.
Usually, a drop of 10-20% takes 4 months, while a 20-40% decline leads to 15 months of recovery time. The most serious market declines we’ve seen were more than 40%! They last about 22 months but take about 58 months to recover from and can be catastrophic.
The deeper the stock market decline, the longer the recovery – no surprises here.
Now, moving on to some…. *drumroll*
Stock Ownership Statistics
Let’s see how many people invest in the stock market.
9. 55% of US adults have a stake in the stock market.
If you wonder what percentage of Americans own stocks, the answer is 52%. That seems a lot but compared to previous years, it’s considerably less. The 2000 Dotcom crash and the 2007 financial crisis have damaged people’s trust in the markets. That’s why the percentage of US adults invested decreased to 52% in 2016, which is a multi-decade low.
10. Since 1989, middle-class households have lost more than half of equity holdings.
Here’s one of the negative stock market statistics. With each year, the gap between the classes is growing at a worrying pace. Just look at this comparison: in 1989, middle-class citizens owned 15% of all household equity holdings. In 2016, they held only 5%.
That’s quite alarming.
Meanwhile, the equity holdings of the top 0.1% of the wealthiest citizens rose about 5% at that time. It’s clear the US bull market is far from perfect and is easily threatened by this inequality.
Stock Trading Statistics
11. About 10% of US households hold international equity.
That’s one of the positive stock statistics. Since the Great Recession in 2008, the global equity share Americans hold is rising. During the last decade, it has gone up by almost 15%. That’s thanks to economic recovery and more affordable ways to invest internationally.
12. 70%–80% of the stock market trading is automated.
(Source: The Robust Trader)
Automated trading has many advantages, including fast trade execution, known probability of success, better accuracy, and a fully automated process. Because of these benefits, it’s no surprise that this mode of trading has been on the rise in recent years.
According to stock market history as of 2003, algorithmic trading accounted for about 15% of the market volume. However, these numbers have since grown, and stock market facts show that automated stock market trading is growing even in emerging markets like India, where it accounts for 40% of the overall trading volume.
That said, this value seems to have plateaued in the last 5 to 10 years.
More Key Stock Market Facts
13. Elon Musk is the richest person in the world, with a net worth of $203 billion.
The South African entrepreneur and founder of Tesla is currently the wealthiest individual in the world. As of January 2021, his net worth was estimated to be $203 billion.
Jeff Bezos used to hold this title and is still close behind with a net worth of $183 billion. The co-founder of Microsoft sits firmly in the third spot with $133 billion in net worth.
14. There are 60 major stock exchanges in the world.
(Source: The Money Project)
According to current stock market statistics, there are 60 major stock exchanges operating in the world right now.
There are 17 in Asia, 2 in Australia, 17 in Europe, 9 in the Middle East, 5 in Africa, 5 in North America, and 5 in South America.
Exchanges with at least $1 trillion in market capitalization are called the “Trillion dollar club.” There are currently 16 such exchanges.
15. Retail investors make up 99.6% of total investors in China.
In the US, the stock market is mainly dominated by institutions. In China, however, the stock market is dominated by retail investors.
Research shows that institutions manage a stock market percentage of 62% in the US. In China, 99.6% of total investors in its stock market are retail investors.
Due to the seemingly erratic and unsophisticated buying and selling decisions of many Chinese investors, China’s stock market is sometimes compared to a crazy casino as opposed to a tool of economic growth.
So what is the stock market doing today?
At the time of writing, most stock markets are at an all-time high.
Here are some of the most active market movers:
16. The historical average stock market return is 10%
Did you know that when investors talk about ‘the market’, they mean the S&P 500? This is an index of 500 of America’s largest publicly traded companies, and the S&P 500 index is seen as the benchmark measure for annual returns.
By analyzing stock market performance over the period of 30 years, we can see that ‘the market’ has a long-term average return of 10%.
17. Stocks of Major Corporations are starting the year in reds – but there is talk of improvements.
Stock market graphs indicate that corporations like General Electric Co, Ford Motor Co, and Nordstrom Inc started the year 2021 with their stock growth in the negatives. However, Wall Street observers are predicting major improvements by the end of the year.
Goldman Sachs, for example, has shown optimism for stock performance and has stated that they expect the S&P to end 2021 on a 17% upside compared to the previous year.
18. Bitcoin reached a record high of $41,940 in January 2021.
Crypto is often unstable and constantly fluctuating. That said, according to the latest stock market statistics for 2021, the crypto market has grown tremendously over the past year, with Bitcoin reaching an all-time record high of $41,940 on January 8, 2021.
However, all cryptocurrencies are fairly volatile and their values change very quickly.
Fun Stock Market Facts
It’s trivia time!
19. Every day at the New York Stock Exchange begins with the ringing of a bell at 9:30 am.
First, they used a Chinese gong for that. However, in 1903, it was replaced with an opening bell. Since then, the opening bell announces the beginning of a new trading day. This is now a popular and iconic daily event. One of the most-watched in the world, in fact!
That’s also thanks to President Ronald Reagan who asked to ring the bell in 1985 as part of his reelection campaign. Since then, celebrities, big corporation leaders, and more have been drawn to it.
Today, it is a great honor (and a way to gain popularity) to be allowed to ring the bell. Ding ding ding!
20. In 1943, women worked on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time.
(Source: CR Fashion)
Unsurprisingly, the NYSE was open only to men during the first half of the 20th century. Then, during World War II, there was a shortage of male workers. For the first time, women were allowed to cross the mysterious gates and work on the trading floor.
However, that was only temporarily — they were banned again in 1947. Rude!
Finally, in 1965, Muriel “Mickie” Siebert bought a seat on the exchange and became famous as the “First Lady of Wall Street.” She was the only woman working at the NYSE for the next decade, earning recognition and a room on the seventh floor named after her. Women power!
21. The value of Tesla’s shares has risen by 670% in 2020.
(Source: Business Insider)
Just like its colorful CEO, Elon Musk (or possibly because of him), the vehicle company has always been controversial; and stockbrokers either love them or hate them.
That said, stock market statistics by year show that Tesla stocks performed incredibly in 2020, far better than anyone could have predicted. The growth doesn’t seem to be stopping. As of mid-January 2021, the shares reached the value of over $840!
You may be interested in How to Buy Tesla Stock
22. Some stocks have shown impressive growth due to COVID-19.
(Source: USA Today)
Here’s an interesting fact about the stock market during 2020: the coronavirus pandemic has actually benefited several corporations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the impressive rise of some stocks in 2020. Due to the ensuing stay-at-home recommendations and the remote working trend, some stocks experienced an increase in their stock value.
One of such companies is Zoom Video Conferencing. Due to the pandemic, Zoom became an essential tool for conducting business remotely and keeping in touch with loved ones. As a result, Zoom stocks have skyrocketed by almost 130% as of November 2020.
Other corporations that have benefited from COVID19 include Amazon and PayPal.
You may be interested in:
23. Investing in low-cost stock markets is the least-risky way of investing.
(Source: Liberated Stock Trader)
While many people believe that investing in high-cost, high-risk markets is the fastest way to accumulate wealth, facts about the stock market don’t bear that out. In fact, investing in a low-cost stock market index tracking fund is the simplest and least risky way of growing your wealth in developed countries.
That said, not every market is free or reliable. This can limit your options, but The US, UK, Europe, and Canada are still good choices.
Let’s round up the stock market statistics with one of the lesser-known stock market fun facts!
24. The New York Stock Exchange was not always called that.
(Source: The Poor Swiss)
The New York Stock Exchange, which is the biggest and most popular stock exchange in the world, didn’t always have that name!
For 70+ years, the NYSE as we know it was called the New York Stock & Exchange Board. A group of traders in 1792 joined to sign the Buttonwood Agreement and coined that name.
In 1863, the name was changed to the New York Stock Exchange, although some people still call it the Big Board.
Now that you’ve read all these key and fascinating facts about the stock market, you can clearly see how huge it is. Now you know the bull stock’s global value, how many US citizens have joined the market, how much money is in the US stock market, and even which month is usually the worst for the market!
You can take advantage of all these useful stock market statistics, as well as our picks for the best online stock brokers for beginners when investing. Or just when you want to impress your friends and colleagues with your newfound knowledge. You’ll be the star of the party!
Meanwhile, we’ll continue following the stock market trends and the global economy so that we can always present to you the most recent information. We’ve got your back!
See you, guys, on SpendMeNot.com.
- Guggenheim Investments
- A Wealth of Common Sense
- A Wealth of Common Sense
- The Robust Trader
- The Money Project
- CR Fashion Book
- Business Insider
- USA Today
- Liberated Stock Trader
- The Poor Swiss