Barely 175 million shares have traded hands on the NYSE floor today, as of the early afternoon. That is a pace that is significantly lower than the average daily floor volume this month (1.047 billion shares).
So how does today’s inactivity compare to trading sessions during recent snowstorms/blizzards?
Estimates are showing that New York City’s Central Park got over 20 inches during the current snowstorm that has paralyzed travel all along the East coast. Getting more than 20 inches of snow is quite rare in NYC. In fact, it’s only happened 4 other times over the last 60+ years - January 1996, February 2002, February 2006, and February 2010. On the last 3 occasions, surprisingly, volume has not dipped significantly on the day of the snowstorm (or on the first day after if the storm occurred on a weekend or holiday).
However, today’s lackluster volume could bring back some memories of the Blizzard of 1996, New York City’s second biggest snowstorm ever. On January 8, 1996, the NYSE saw just one third of that month’s average that day. But the major difference between that day and today? Unlike the normal trading session today, the NYSE delayed its opening until 11:00am ET and closed early at 2:00pm ET on January 8, 1996 as a result of the blizzard.