Yesterday, we published a list of S&P 500 stocks that have seen the least volatility over the last decade. For traders with a more short-term time horizon who are looking for big moves over a short period, we have updated our list of the S&P 1500 stocks trading above $10 that have the largest intraday high-low ranges (based on the average percent spread between the intraday high and low over the last 50 days). We then grouped the stocks based on whether they have a rising or falling 50-day moving average. Stocks highlighted in gray are new to this month's list.
Given the strong rally in equities since the October lows, it is not surprising that volatile stocks in uptrends outnumber volatile stocks in downtrends by nearly three to one (37 to 13). Perhaps an even more telling example of how strong the market has been this year is the fact that although Sears Holding (SHLD) is the second most volatile stock in a downtrend, it is still up by more than 49% so far this year (but still lower than it was in early December). Currently, Diamond Foods (DMND) is the only stock in the S&P 1500 trading above $10 per share that averages a daily high/low spread of more than 7%.
We have frequently highlighted how volatility in both directions essentially came to halt when the calendar changed to 2012. One further example is that close to half of the stocks (24) on this month's list of most volatile stocks all have average high/low spreads of less than 5%. It wasn't too long ago that every stock on the list had an average daily spread of more than 5%.