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Margin Debt on NYSE Nearly Steady in Oct.

November 21, 2001|Thomas S. Mulligan

Margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange held nearly steady in October, easing to $144.62 billion from $144.67 billion in September, the Big Board reported Tuesday.

Margin levels have been in a more or less steady decline since hitting an all-time peak of $278.53 billion in March 2000, which was the month when the Nasdaq composite index, fueled by the dot-com bubble, reached its all-time peak of 5,048.62. Margin since then has fallen 48%. Nasdaq has slid 63%.

Last month's slight drop left margin debt--borrowings from brokerages, typically backed by stock collateral and used to purchase stock--at the lowest level since December 1998, according to NYSE figures.

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