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Margin Debt Nearing $1 Trillion May Not Be a Sign of Euphoria

  • Loan growth mostly tracking share-price gains, JPMorgan says
  • It’s nowhere near the extreme expansions in 2007 and 2000

Margin debt just shot back to an all-time high in the stock market. Is it a sign of an overheating market? Not quite yet, says JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s prime broker. 

Brokerages extended more than $910 billion in credit to clients at the end of August, up 8% from the previous month, resuming a yearlong climb, according to data compiled by FINRA last week. The amount, approaching the market value of Facebook Inc., is the most since the dataset began in 1959.