Interactive Brokers’ December DARTs Static Amidst Holiday Lull

Accounts managed to rise to an all-time high in December, despite a seasonal lull in volumes.

Global electronic brokerage Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR), has reported its trading volumes for the month ending December 2017. The last monthly filing of the calendar year proved to be a weaker period in terms of volumes, with trading falling on a monthly basis.

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As has been the case with the vast majority of 2017, volumes were dictated by swings in volatility and isolated pockets of activity. December was no exception, with markets seemingly stuck in a period of inactivity for much of the month. A wait-and-see style of trading eventually led into the holidays in the US, which further capped volumes.

One of the few events of the month was the passage of the landmark Republican tax bill, which did little to jar markets. Rather, absent any major drivers, Interactive Brokers saw its DARTs retrace back to October 2017 levels.

In particular, the group reported a monthly DARTs figure of 699,000 in December 2017, falling by 12.1 percent month-over-month from 795,000 DARTs set back in November 2017. The retracement of DARTs erases what little momentum there was in volumes in Q4 2017. Still, December’s volumes reading was 14.0 percent higher on a yearly basis relative to December 2016.

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Of note, December 2017 had a total of 20 trading days, relative to 21 in November 2017. The impact of the holidays in the US was largely the most important factor that led to reduced trading volumes, given the annual lull experienced at year-end as markets wound down.

In terms of its other monthly statistics, Interactive Brokers’ ending client margin loan balances again reached a new high in December, yielding $29.5 billion for the month, which was 8.9 percent higher than $27.1 billion in November 2017, a previous high.

This figure was higher by nearly 52.0 percent year-over-year from December 2016. The company’s loan balances have been trending higher every month since September 2016

New highs in accounts

Looking at Interactive Brokers’ customer accounts, the group disclosed a figure of 483,000 for December 2017, a fresh all-time high at the brokerage. The number has risen in every month during 2017 as the group continues to expand its market footprint in the US’ retail market.

While just higher by 2.0 percent from 474,000 accounts in November 2017, Interactive Brokers has seen its customer accounts jump by a full 25.0 percent compared to December 2016. Finally, a yearly snapshot at Interactive Brokers revealed a total of 342 annualized average cleared DARTs per client account.

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