The S&P 500 just experienced its smallest drop ever

No one can afford to be complacent. The right investment portfolio, the one you can live with, isn't necessarily the same as the one that is currently generating what seems to be endless returns.
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No one can afford to be complacent. The right investment portfolio, the one you can live with, isn't necessarily the same as the one that is currently generating what seems to be endless returns.

The S&P 500 slid on Tuesday, but most investors probably didn't notice. That's because the large-cap index fell all of 0.0002 percent — for its smallest-magnitude move in nearly two decades.

The S&P closed Tuesday trading at 2,268.900 after closing Monday at 2,268.904. For those who prefer to round to the second decimal point, it didn't move at all.

Going back its 1957 creation, the index has only seen smaller percentage moves on four sessions: Jan. 28, 1997, Sept. 3, 1992, Nov. 2, 1988 and Feb. 4, 1998. On each of these days, the S&P moved not at all, according to data gathered from FactSet.

That means that Tuesday's move was the market's smallest drop ever.

In recent years, the S&P hasn't experienced a move of similar diminutiveness since Jan. 3, 2008, when the S&P 500 soared 0.0004 percent.

To Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners, the lack of movement speaks to current market sentiment.

"There's this delicate balance going on between taking profits and managing risk, and not missing what's to come," Block told CNBC on Tuesday. "It's almost like everyone wants to sell, but no one wants to miss anything."

All eyes, he said, are now on the news conference that Donald Trump has set for Wednesday. If the president-elect renews his commitment to infrastructure spending and tax cuts, the S&P could soar.

Yet even if little news is made, the chance that the index stages a smaller move on Wednesday than it did on Tuesday is, well, de minimis.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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