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Illustration: Aïda Amer / Axios

The stock market is down significantly, but insofar as that market-reporting cliché the "wave of selling" is anywhere to be seen, it isn't coming from mom-and-pop investors.

By the numbers: As stocks plunged on Monday, more than twice as many Fidelity customers were buyers than sellers.

  • “Customers are using the market volatility to add equities to their portfolio,” Fidelity’s Robert Beauregard told Yahoo Finance

At Vanguard, customers were even more sanguine, with less than 0.3% of retirement accounts making any trades at all in the past month.

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

One reason people rotate into stocks is when they pay out much more in dividends than a Treasury note does in interest payments.

  • That's not normally the case. The dividend yield on the S&P 500 is generally lower than the yield on the 10-year Treasury note because investors expect to make money not only from stock dividends but also from price appreciation.

Earlier this week, however, the dividend yield on the S&P 500, at 2.09%, was more than 4 times the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. That easily marked an all-time high for the ratio.

  • Be smart: There are limits to how informative this ratio can be. If 10-year bond yields head negative, for instance, as they have done in Germany and many other countries around the world, the ratio would first spike up to ∞ and would then go negative itself.

Why it matters: This ratio doesn't help you time the market — stocks can always fall further. But it's easy to see how investors in Treasury bonds might start worrying that their money is no longer working hard for them.

Go deeper: Don't panic about the stock market

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
26 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.