Want to see just how much pressure the stock market is under? Got a buck? There are now 359 stocks trading for under $1 a share – the highest in more than 20 years.

The number of stocks currently trading on a major U.S. exchange for less $1 a share has jumped 38% this year and is up 420% from five years ago, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Seeing such a rapid jump in the number of penny stocks shows just how pummeled the market has become. This analysis is limited to stocks currently trading on a major U.S. exchange – thus omits stocks that have been delisted or bought over the years.

Still, the rapid rise in “penny stocks” is a tangible result of the market’s vicious beat-down this year. The horrible start to the year, which pushed the Standard & Poor’s 500 down 5.6% since the end of December and down 9.4% from the peak, is starting to take a major toll on markets. It’s not just marginal companies that are feeling the strain. Even if you limit the analysis to just stocks in the broad Russell 3000 index – there are 42 members trading for $1 a share or less. That’s up from just two stocks trading that cheaply in 2014 and the average of just 17 since 2000.

Read the Full Article: Source – USA Today
Time For Truth: (USA Today) – Meltdown pushes 359 stocks under a buck

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