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This item downloads the margin debt, the free credit cash accounts and the credit balances in margin accounts data from the New York Exchange website.
The NYSE releases these numbers every month and the data spans from 1959 to present.
The NYSE margin debt is the amount of borrowed money to buy stocks on the NYSE. Because the SEC regulations allow an investor or a trader to use a 2:1 leverage when he buys stocks, the amount of money borrowed on margin can be used as an estimate of how confident stock traders are. If investors believe that the stock market is going to rise, they will borrow more to increase their positions. On the contrary, if traders are less confident and believe that the market will fall, they will decrease their exposure and thus borrow less.
^NYSE_Margin_Debt: This is the symbol that references the margin debt time-series data.
^NYSE_Free_CCA: This is the symbol that references the free credit cash accounts time-series data.
^NYSE_Credit_BMA: This is the symbol that references the credit balances in margin accounts time-series data.
According to the New York Exchange website, after the Federal Reserve Regulation T revisions that occurred in June 1983, the general stock margin account, the convertible bond account, the special subscription account... were consolidated into one margin account. Consequently, recent margin debt values are not comparable to the ones that were reported before June 1983.