Americans are all in on the stock market.
Individual investors are holding more stocks than ever before as major indexes climb to fresh highs. They are also upping the ante by borrowing to magnify their bets or increasingly buying on small dips in the market.
Stockholdings among U.S. households increased to 41% of their total financial assets in April, the highest level on record. That is according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Federal Reserve data going back to 1952 that includes 401(k) retirement accounts. JPMorgan’s Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, who analyzed the data, attributes the elevated allocations to appreciating share prices alongside stock purchases.
The enthusiasm for stocks comes as market volatility has been edging lower and the S&P 500 has hit 25 records this year, fueled by a stellar earnings season and the prospect of an economic recovery that is speedier than many predicted. Meanwhile, stimulus checks have fueled a record rise in household incomes, boosting spending and helping propel the recovery.
In the coming week, the monthly jobs report and earnings results from companies like Uber Technologies Inc. will provide clues about the strength of the recovery.