Research Quarterly: Equities, First Quarter 2020

The U.S. equity markets are the largest in the world and continue to be among the deepest, most liquid and most efficient, representing 44.9% of the $82 trillion global equity market cap, or $37 trillion (as of 1Q20). This is 4.6x the next largest market, China. U.S. market share has averaged 37.6% over the last 10 years, troughing at 31.4% in 2010 and peaking this year at 44.9%.

Markets continued to expand in the early part of the quarter, before falling with the emergence of Covid-19. The S&P 500 index averaged 2,921.44 for the quarter and 2,584.59 for March, 1Q20 5.3% Y/Y (peak 3,225.52, trough 2,584.59); the DJIA averaged 25,194.18 and 21,917.16, 1Q20 -1.6% Y/Y (peak 28,256.03, trough 21,917.16); and the Nasdaq averaged 8,472.80 and 7,700.10, 1Q20 +12.8% Y/Y (peak 9,150.94, trough 7,700.10). The VIX spiked up to new highs not seen since the later end of 2018 averaging 37.50 for the quarter and 53.54 for March, +149.6% Y/Y (peak 53.54, trough 18.84).

ADVs were up for all three segments covered in this report. Equity ADV was 10.8B shares for the quarter, +44.3% Y/Y (peak 15.6B, trough 7.6B). Options ADV was 28.9M contracts for the quarter, +49.5% Y/Y (peak 31.6M, trough 25.8M). ETF ADV was 2.64B shares or the quarter, +76% Y/Y (peak 4.35B, trough 1.54B).

For capital formation, total equity issuance was $55.3B for the quarter (+23.1% Y/Y) and the total IPO value was $7.2B (+45.4% Y/Y). The number of IPOs was up 41.2% Y/Y but down 40.0% Q/Q. Private equity deal value fell 27.6% Y/Y and 32.0% Q/Q.


Download the full report for all data, tables and the chart book.

About the Report

A quarterly report containing brief commentary and statistics on the U.S. cash equities, multi-listed options, ETFs and capital formation.


SIFMA Research

  • Katie Kolchin, CFA, Director of Research
  • Justyna Podziemska
  • Ali Mostafa