The S&P 500 just experienced its smallest drop ever

Trader yawning during the market day
Joshua Lott | Getty Images
Trader yawning during the market day

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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