US retail investors scooped up stocks during Thursday’s market crash

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) – Individual investors were the main buyers on Thursday as stocks sold off on concern that the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Retail investors bought $2.6 billion in net worth of stocks and exchange-traded funds on Thursday, according to Vanda Research. It was the highest level of net purchases ever recorded by Vanda, data for which dates back to January 2014, the company said.

Retail investors have become a bigger force in the markets in recent years, as online brokers have lowered trading fees and social media has made it easier for people, many of whom work from home due to the pandemic, coordinate business ideas. That can put them at odds with the patterns of institutional investors.

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In January 2021, retail investors piled into so-called meme stocks such as GameStop Corp (GME.N) and AMC Entertainment (AMC.N) in an attempt to punish short sellers, but they have largely turned around. your attention to technology stocks and index funds. read more

The top retail buys during Thursday’s sell-off, which erased gains from a relief rally on Wednesday when the Fed hiked rates 0.5%, were: SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY.P), Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 ETF (QQQ .O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

QQQ ETFs track the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index (.NDX), which is down more than 21% year-to-date. Retail investors were divided on which direction it would head next.

The fourth most popular retail buy on Thursday was the ProShares UltraPro QQQ ETF, which is three times (3X) the daily return of the Nasdaq 100, while the sixth most popular pick was the ProShares UltraPro QQQ Short ETF, which is a 3X bet. against the index.

The S&P 500 Index (.SPX) plunged 3.6% on Thursday and is down about 13% year-to-date.

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Reporting by John McCrank Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Diane Craft

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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