The Securities and Exchange Commission has been keeping a close eye on capital markets, facilitating orderly and fair-market function, and monitoring corporate filings and disclosures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said Friday.
On the subject of market function, Mr. Clayton, in prepared remarks before the Federal Stability Oversight Council, said from an equities perspective, the 10 highest days by notional volume or trade count of all time have occurred in 2020. In 2019, the average daily volume was 7 billion shares per day, while on the last day of February this year, the SEC observed the second most shares traded ever —19.3 billion shares — Mr. Clayton said. In May, the average was 10.5 billion shares per day.
The "pipes and plumbing" of the securities markets have performed well, he added. "We can report that during this time of unprecedented stress, we have observed no systemically adverse operational issues with respect to our key infrastructure," Mr. Clayton said.
Separately, the SEC last month announced an internal, cross-divisional COVID-19 market monitoring group that will function as a focal point for managing and coordinating its efforts to monitor and respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on markets, issuers and investors and assist other regulators and public-sector officials, Mr. Clayton said.