NYSE Margin Debt, 2000
margin debt level came in at $219 billion, lower than October's $233 billion. Margin debt, which has now dropped for the second-straight month, is at its lowest level since November 1999, when NYSE margin came in at $206 billion.
But the drop in margin is not yet sufficient to signal a bottom for stocks, according to Charles Biderman, president of
, a firm that tracks stock market liquidity. Biderman says margin debt "has to fall another $35-$40 billion" to send that message. At that point margin levels would be back to where they were at the end of October 1999, as the market started soaring.
Overall, margin remains high historically. November's reading of $219 billion dwarfs the $139 billion it registered in November 1998.
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