Chart of the week: US stocks are getting older

The average age of firms listed in the US has been rising for three decades. It’s now 20 years, twice the figure seen in the 1990s dotcom craze.

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"Certain adjectives come to mind in describing the US stockmarket," say Sarah Ponczek and Reade Pickert on Bloomberg. "Sprawling, resilient and diverse." But another suitable one is "old". The average age of firms listed in the US has been rising for three decades. It's now 20 years, twice the figure seen in the 1990s dotcom craze.

The trend has developed for two main reasons.One is that these days firms stay private for longer before going public. Uber and Airbnb are about to float and are around four years older than the typical firm opting for an initial public offering 20 years ago. And once new firms list they "become prey". In a market increasingly dominated by mega caps, the giants snap up competitors fast.

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