Apr 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

Record retail trading could be due to coronavirus-driven lack of gambling options

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets

Photo: David Becker/AFP via Getty Images

Online brokerages have seen a record number of new accounts opened this year as so-called mom and pop retail investors look to buy the dips and cash in on the market's late February selloff.

What's happening: "The rush of retail investors into U.S. equities is at least partly a function of a world with no casinos, no sports betting to speak of (horses and ping-pong aside), and little to do outside the home," DataTrek Research co-founder Jessica Rabe points out in a note to clients.

  • Retail traders, especially those using the stock trading app Robinhood, have shown unusual buying patterns, pursuing cheap and particularly volatile stocks, she observes.

By the numbers: "TD Ameritrade said last week that retail clients opened a record 608,000 new funded accounts in the quarter ended March 31, with more than two-thirds of those opened in March," WSJ reports.

  • "E*Trade saw a net gain of 363,000 accounts in the quarter — a company record — around 90% of which were retail."
  • "Charles Schwab Corp. reported a record 609,000 new brokerage accounts in the quarter, including individuals’ self-directed accounts and those managed by financial advisers."

Go deeper: Investment professionals are selling while mom and pop buy the coronavirus dip

Go deeper

South Korea and Taiwan show stifled consumer demand after coronavirus lockdowns

People walking through a park in Seoul on May 24. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

Looking at the economies of South Korea and Taiwan leads to a discomforting takeaway: "Reopening isn’t going to be an economic cure-all," Matthew C. Klein writes for Barron's.

What it means: "Both countries contained the virus better than the U.S., yet consumers in those countries remain reluctant to spend and venture out," Klein notes.

Mental health screenings are rising during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The advocacy group Mental Health America says it's seen a big increase in anxiety and depression since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Why it matters: The pandemic and ensuing lockdown have triggered increased loneliness and isolation while also making in-person help harder to access.

Updated 6 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Florida reported on Wednesday its largest number of new novel coronavirus cases in a single day since April 17. 1,317 people tested positive to take the state total to 58,764, per the state's health department. Despite the rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said bars and clubs could reopen on Friday.

By the numbers: More than 107,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and over 1.8 million people have tested positive, per data from Johns Hopkins. More than 479,000 Americans have recovered and over 18 million tests have been conducted.