Research Quarterly: Equities, Fourth 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 40.0% of the $86 trillion global equity market cap, or $36 trillion (as of June 2020). This is 3.9x the next largest market, China. U.S. market share has averaged 37.2% over the last 10 years, troughing at 31.4% in 2010 and peaking at 40.8% in 2018.

Markets rebounded in the second half of 2020, erasing losses from 1Q20 caused by the emergence of COVID-19. The S&P 500 index averaged 3,217.86 for the year and 3,554.50 for 4Q20, 2020 +10.5% Y/Y (peak 3,756.07, trough 2,237.40); the DJIA averaged 26,890.67 and 29,091.59, 2020 +1.9% Y/Y (peak 30,606.48, trough 18,591.93); the Nasdaq averaged 10,201.51 and 11,954.43, 2020 +28.5% Y/Y (peak 12,899.42, trough 6,860.67); and the Russell 2000 averaged 1,523.90 and 1,760.79, 2020 -1.4% (peak 2,007.10, trough 991.16). The VIX averaged 29.25 for the year and 25.62 for the quarter, 2020 +90.1% Y/Y (peak 82.69, trough 12.10).

ADVs were up Y/Y for all three segments covered in this report. Equity ADV was 10.5B shares for the quarter, +54.8% Y/Y (peak 19.4B, trough 6.3B). Options ADV was 32.2M contracts for the quarter, +65.2% Y/Y (peak 45.5M, trough 21.5M). ETF ADV was 1.5B shares or the quarter, +20.1% Y/Y (peak 5.6B, trough 0.6B).

For capital formation, total equity issuance was $108.1B for the quarter (+113.2% Y/Y) and the total IPO value was $29.7B (+369.0% Y/Y). The number of IPOs was up 72.5% Y/Y. Private equity deal value fell 10.4% Y/Y but was up 40.6% 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