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When are Markets Most Volatile?

Thursday, 30 Oct 2008 | 12:55 PM ET

We have seen some amazing swings in the Dow over the past month including the dramatic drop yesterday when the Dow was up ~250 points at 3:50 pm and then closed in negative territory on news about CNBC parent, GE. Look at the distribution (below) of the avg. 1/2 hour spreads from low to high for the Dow for the month of Oct to date.

The maximum swing was 683.85 points, during the opening 1/2 hour on 10/10. Each 1/2 hour has seen an avg. of triple digit moves. On an hourly basis, 3:00 to 4:00 has been the most volatile, with the maximum swing of 791.22 points, also on 10/10.

From

Until

avg. Spread

9:30:00 AM

10:00:00 AM

277.04

10:00:00 AM

10:30:00 AM

151.21

10:30:00 AM

11:00:00 AM

139.34

11:00:00 AM

11:30:00 AM

112.25

11:30:00 AM

12:00:00 PM

101.12

12:00:00 PM

12:30:00 PM

111.19

12:30:00 PM

1:00:00 PM

100.98

1:00:00 PM

1:30:00 PM

109.43

1:30:00 PM

2:00:00 PM

125.26

2:00:00 PM

2:30:00 PM

139.62

2:30:00 PM

3:00:00 PM

139.99

3:00:00 PM

3:30:00 PM

192.09

3:30:00 PM

4:00:00 PM

258.36


Lesson here: Get your trades in early, go play golf and then come back to trade some more.

Some of the players swinging the Dow today are Chevron (CVX), HP (HPQ), IBM (IBM), JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

Comments? Send them to bythenumbers@cnbc.com

bythenumbers.cnbc.com

  Price   Change %Change
DJIA
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IBM
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HPQ
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CVX
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JPM MLP ETN
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GE
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XOM
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