Stocks tread water as trading activity at historic lows

|By:, SA News Editor

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%.