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Stock Market Losses Wipe Out $9 Trillion from Americans’ Wealth

Falling stock markets have wiped out more than $9 trillion in wealth from US households, as Americans’ holdings of corporate equities and mutual fund shares fell to $33 trillion at the end of the second quarter, down from $42 trillion at the start of the year. Economists say the drops could soon start rippling through the economy, adding pressure to Americans’ balance sheets and possibly hurting spending, borrowing and investing. However, the wealthy had the largest losses as they own an outsize share of stocks: the top 1% lost over $5 trillion in stock market wealth while the bottom 50% lost about $70 billion in stock wealth. The market was inflated as it nearly doubled during the pandemic, rising from $22 trillion to $42 trillion. The bulk of that wealth went to those at the top, since the wealthiest 10% of Americans own 89% of individually held stocks. While stock markets have seen larger drops on a percentage basis, this year’s stock losses are among the largest ever on a dollar basis.

  • Americans’ holdings of corporate equities and mutual fund shares fell to $33 trillion at the end of the second quarter, down from $42 trillion at the start of the year.
  • With major market indexes falling further since July, experts say losses from financial markets could total $9.5 trillion to $10 trillion.
  • Economists say the drops could add pressure to Americans’ balance sheets and possibly hurting spending.

Falling stock markets have wiped out more than $9 trillion in wealth from U.S. households, putting more pressure on family balance sheets and spending.

Americans’ holdings of corporate equities and mutual fund shares fell to $33 trillion at the end of the second quarter, down from $42 trillion at the start of the year, according to data from the Federal Reserve. With major market indexes falling even further since early July, and the bond market adding further losses, market experts say the current wealth losses from financial markets could total $9.5 trillion to $10 trillion.

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