Seeking Alpha

Stocks tread water as trading activity at historic lows

Stocks finished with miniscule losses but they were enough to tilt the S&P and Dow to their first losses after a six-day winning streak.

Participation remains light, with fewer than 560M shares changing hands at the NYSE, and volatility is almost non-existent; the S&P 500's intra-day range amounted to fewer than five points, or just 0.25%, which ranks as the third lowest daily range in the last 20 years, and today was the 46th straight session in which the S&P closed with a move of less than 1%, the longest such stretch since 1995.

Large-cap tech names held up well, and energy stocks continue to gain even as crude oil slid 0.6% to $106.18/bbl; the industrial sector lagged due to broad weakness among transport stocks.

Treasury prices mostly inched higher, with the 10-year yield trading in a narrow range to end down slightly at 2.622%.

Comments (7)
  • IPOChaser
    , contributor
    Comments (62) | Send Message
    I have yet to have seen an explanation for the extremely (record) low volume and volatility. Any seen any articles?
    23 Jun 2014, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • Cheesehusker
    , contributor
    Comments (328) | Send Message
    It's summertime. Do you need a reason past that?
    23 Jun 2014, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4528) | Send Message
    IPOChaser: Proliferation of long-only positions in professionally managed accounts that invest in broad market index-style ETF positions as opposed to stock picking and trading techniques of the past.
    23 Jun 2014, 06:55 PM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (8779) | Send Message
    May be finally people have realized that trading is for losers?
    23 Jun 2014, 09:10 PM Reply Like
  • jimdog
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    Everyone and their brother knows their is zero reward for the amount of risk your taking in the market. That is why the volume is low. Risk is extreme and reward is low so no players!
    23 Jun 2014, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • Robert Duval
    , contributor
    Comments (7381) | Send Message
    Some would argue it goes to extreme risk adversion still in the market, with billions in cash still on the sidelines and no sellers.
    23 Jun 2014, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • PeteCal
    , contributor
    Comments (90) | Send Message
    Sell in May...... ah --June and go away.
    24 Jun 2014, 08:46 AM Reply Like
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