By the Numbers

Low Volatility & Volume Hit Markets

Volatility was absent from the markets yesterday as the Dow had its tightest intraday swing in nearly 3 years. The blue chip index only moved 36 points from low to high on Tuesday – marking its narrowest trading range since it moved 25 points intraday back on February 16, 2007!

On top of the low volatility, Tuesday’s trading saw yet another light volume day in this holiday-shortened week. In fact, it was the lightest full day of trading of the year at the NYSE, with just over 600 million shares changing hands on the floor of the exchange – continuing a trend of seasonally light trading volumes.

Of course, December volumes typically are light due to the holiday season. However, don’t be

alarmed – trading activity usually bounces back in January, rising 20 percent on average from December levels this decade.

Meanwhile, during the current decade, the S&P 500 has posted an average decline of 1.75% in January. However, going back much further to 1950, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac, January is the 4th best month of the year for the S&P 500, with an average gain of 1.3%.

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