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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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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