Research Quarterly: Equities, First Quarter 2021

The U.S. equity markets are the largest in the world and continue to be among the deepest, most liquid and most efficient, representing 41.5% of the $111 trillion global equity market cap, or $46 trillion. This is 3.8x the next largest market, China. U.S. market share has averaged 36.5% over the last 10 years, troughing at 29.8% in 2010 and peaking in 1Q21.

The S&P 500 index averaged 3,865.71 for the quarter and 3,910.51 for March, 1Q21 +26.5% Y/Y (peak 3,974.54, trough 3,700.65); the DJIA averaged 31,550.58 and 32,373.29, 1Q21 +18.8% Y/Y (peak 33,171.37, trough 29,982.62); the Nasdaq averaged 13,351.46 and 13,168.81, 1Q21 +52.2% Y/Y (peak 14,095.47, trough 12,609.16); and the Russell 2000 averaged 2,198.73 and 2,244.19, 1Q21 +46.6% Y/Y (peak 2,360.17, trough 1,945.91). The VIX declined to averaging 23.20 for the quarter and 21.84 for March, 1Q21 -25.7% Y/Y (peak 37.21, trough 18.86).

ADVs were up Y/Y for equity and ETFs but it was down for options. Equity ADV was 14.7B shares for the quarter, +33.5% Y/Y (peak 24.5, trough 10.5B). Options ADV was 42.0M contracts for the quarter, +49.8% Y/Y (peak 60.0M, trough 28.1M). ETF ADV was 1.94B shares for the quarter, -25.4% Y/Y (peak 3.64B, trough 1.30B).

For capital formation, total equity issuance was $140.0B for the quarter (+151.4% Y/Y) and the total IPO value was $41.3B (+470.1% Y/Y). The number of IPOs was up 308.3% Y/Y. Private equity deal value fell 19.4% Y/Y.

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