The stock market is probably the most essential component of a free-market economy. It supports democratized access to trading and an exchange of capital while attempting to offer a level playing field for investors of all kinds. That’s not to say that the professional money managers and big investors don’t have certain advantages and privileges, but only a free-trade stock market offers an arguably fair chance for everyday individuals.
One does not necessarily need stock market statistics and facts to understand the effect these markets can have on the whole world. That became evident to everyone 10 years ago when the global economy was plunged into the second most damaging recession in history. The Great Recession reminded everyone how fragile the economy can be.
What’s more troubling, however, is that we are probably not aware of all the effects that the aftershocks of the crisis will have on the course of history. It’s important to keep looking and listening, because it is always far better to prevent a problem than to deal with the fallout of a crisis – especially when the next one could prove to be even more catastrophic.
Our goal with the stock markets stats and facts we present here is to create a place where all the most interesting information and up-to-date data is available for you to read, share, and keep in mind. An informed mind is the first step toward a healthy economy.
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Key Statistics on Stock Markets – Editor’s Choice
- The United States represents 40.01% of the entire world stock market capitalization.
- In 2018, the global market cap shrank 14.9% from the year before.
- About 10% of US households hold international equity.
- The current bull market has been going on for a record 10 years.
- On average, the market performs the poorest in September.
Interesting Stock Market Statistics
1. By the end of 2018, total market capitalization was down 14.9% compared to 2017.
The World Federation of Exchanges notes that the global market cap dropped for the first time since 2014. When we look at how much the high volatility in equity and currency markets affected each region, however, the numbers show distinct differences. The Americas were down 6.3%; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa were down 16.5%; and the Asia-Pacific region was down by 23.8%.
2. There are 16 stock exchanges in the world with a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion.
These stock exchanges accounted for 87% of global market capitalization in 2015. NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange have more market cap between them than the rest of the exchanges on the list combined.
3. Middle-class households have lost more than half of household equity holdings since 1989.
One of the more worrying current stock market statistics is the ever-growing gap between classes. In 1989, middle-class citizens owned 15% of all household equity holdings, and in 2016 they held just 5%. Contrast this with the fact that the equity holdings of the top 0.1% wealthiest citizens rose about 5% in the same period, and the true danger that inequality presents to the US market becomes clearer.
4. About 10% of US households hold international equity.
This is one of the more encouraging stock trading statistics. US stock market numbers over the past decade reveal that American households are increasingly diversifying. Ever since the Great Recession in 2008, the global equity share that Americans are holding has also been on the rise, with only small bumps on the road. During the past decade this share in the world equity market has risen by almost 15%, fueled by economic recovery and less costly and restrictive ways to invest internationally.
5. Stock market declines of 5% to 10% generally require a month’s recovery time.
Stock market crash statistics pulled from historical data show that the most commonly experienced market declines are the easiest to recover from, especially when compared to bigger pullbacks. In fact, a drop of 10-20% usually takes 4 months of recovery, while a 20-40% decline takes 15 months. The biggest market drops we’ve experienced were drops of more than 40%, which last for an average of 22 months but take about 58 months to recover from, making them potentially catastrophic.
6. The current US bull market is 10 years old and counting.
To better illustrate how incredible this is, just take a look at stock market statistics of historical data. Bull markets have on average lasted for about 4.5 years each. The current boom that started in March 2009 is therefore not only more than double the average, but is also the longest in American history. What makes this bull market unusual is not that it happened after a recession, which was expected, but that it maintains slow-but-steady growth.
This was made possible by record low interest rates and record-high corporate profits, mostly from the rising tech industry. Companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon are now the most valuable corporations in the world, and their rise to join Microsoft has helped the market quadruple its capitalization since the worst days of the financial crisis.
7. The United States represents 40.01% of global market capitalization.
US global market cap has reached this level for the first time since 2005 due to a strengthening dollar and gains in American equities. Also, an ongoing decline in most international equity markets has helped boost the US share of the world’s market cap.
China is the country that took the biggest hit since the 2016 American presidential election. On election day of election, the US made up 36.53% of world market cap compared to China’s 10.21%. America has gained 3.48% since then while China has lost 2.7%. This sudden drop pushed China back into third place on the list, behind Japan, as the stock market graph below shows. Hong Kong is fourth with 6.51%, and the UK holds fifth place with 4.49%.