It is no secret that markets have been almost eerily quiet for some time. But there's quiet—and then there's dead.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 is trading in a mere 0.2 percent range. If that sounds small, it is. In fact, according to technician Jonathan Krinsky of MKM Partners, this range ties Dec. 30, 2013, for the title of narrowest S&P 500 range going back to 1992.
Wednesday's S&P range is also tied for fourth with Dec. 30, 2013, on the list of four narrowest ranges dating back to 1982.
The calendar certainly has something to do with it. The equity markets close at 1 p.m. on Thursday, ahead of the July Fourth holiday. The other recent day with similarly mild trading came a day before New Year's Eve.
That said, the tight range comports with a broader and much-discussed trend in 2014: declining volatility.
"It's a very frustrating situation from a traders' perspective, and not just because of less opportunities to make money," said Chicago-based trader Jim Iuorio. "Traders know that markets need to occasionally release built-up pressure in the form of a correction. When this does not happen, particularly for inorganic reasons, the pressure continues to build."