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NYSE Margin Debt (Since January 2000)

Source: New York Stock Exchange

January's margin debt figure from the

New York Stock Exchange

was little changed from December, according to data released on Thursday morning by the

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. Margin debt for January came in at $197.1 billion, down just slightly from December's figure of $198.7 billion.

Given the market's rally in January, the slight downtick in margin debt is encouraging. Indeed, investors who might have been tempted by the nice gains made last month seem to have resisted the lure of using margin to boost those gains.

Margin debt is still historically high, but it's down significantly from its peak of $278 billion, which was reached in March 2000.

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