NYSE Common Stock Volume Plunges To Sub-2001 Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

When we pointed out our volume chart earlier, which indicated that volume is now a laughable joke, we received one of the traditionally amusing responses, "ZH misses the point on volume because they data mine and only compare it to the volume during the crisis. SPY volume is STILL higher today than it was pre-2007. So are we to believe that the crisis volume levels are the "real" levels for volume? If you compare back to pre-crisis, volume is actually still pretty high." Here is our response.

For those who refuse to accept the reality, and/or are unable to interpret what the chart says, allow us to explain: NYSE common stock volume is lower than it was in 2010, in 2009, in 2008, in 2007, in 2006, in 2005, in 2004, in 2003, in 2002 and in 2001. We stopped there (couldn't help it - felt obligated to data mine a little bit).

And incidentally, here is why the Deutsche Borse better be able to sell the NYSE for scrap value.

No worries though - the NYSE liquidation value should be surging quite soon. We hear all those collocation boxes can fetch a pretty penny when the price of stainless steel hits infinity.


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ShortBusTrader's picture

With the huge amount of volume which has been moved off-exchange, this is still a useless exercise. IF you can figure out the real total volume, you might have a point to make.

spartan117's picture

You mean the buying done by the PDs?  They'll account for 100% of the volume soon.

Modus's picture

You are raising a legitimate question so i dont know why your post was flaged junk. Still though the answer is a bit more complicated. You are right saying much volume has moved off-exchange and into dark pools, ecns and so on but the question is what kind of liquidity and volume is it and who stands behind it?

Looking at on-exchange volume and liquidity reveals one thing for sure and that is that participation by retail and small institutionals is still low and lower than the previous years.

What that means for market structure, stability and the proper and efficient function of the capital markets as a source of funding and, yes true that, long-term capital, has to be seen.

I will not say that our markets are totally disfunctional today but some serious questions need to be answered.

Downtoolong's picture

It's all those one year old babies trading on E-Trade.


if's picture

Retail, ...etc also trades on ECNs and other ATS so I would not infer too much from the on-exchange volume.  AFAIK all trades regardless of execution venue must print on the consolidated tape.  That would imply the ZH analysis is correct.

gasmiinder's picture

 You are raising a legitimate question so i dont know why your post was flaged junk

What does that have to do with it?  Most ZH's believe the "junk" flag is their "dislike" button.  The concept has been broken for a very long time.

scaleindependent's picture

The volume graph uncannily resembles the U.S. workforce participation graph.

Coinky dink?

NoLongerABagHolder's picture

Anyone find it interesting that Tyler used the ES volume as his defense in the first piece, then I go to the SPY volume to prove he is data mining..... and then he writes this using the NYSE?

Here is the S&P 500 volume going back 50 years.


The case statnds that the SP 500 today has more volume than it did through most of the climb from the 2002 lows until the 2007 peak.

Why would you write about the ES volume when you had NYSE volume in mind in the first place?

Bottom line is SP 500 volume has not collapsed as was mentioned in the first article.

Of course the cult here will see nothing wrong with this bait and switch. And I am honored that by cover blowing was enough to cause another article. Who woulda thunk little ole me could get on the radar for calling out the truth here at ZH.

NoLongerABagHolder's picture

Even more data that is not data mined or series that don't make much sense like a 200 day moving average. Direct from the NYSE:

"NYSE Daily Share Volume includes NYSE volume in all issues traded at the NYSE executed by NYSE.  NYSE Group Daily Share Volume in NYSE Listed Issues volume includes volume in NYSE Listed Issues executed by NYSE and NYSE Arca."


2009 shows group volume in the 30-50 billion dollar range every day, not much different than 2010 and 2011 numbers. And the NYSE group shares seem to be about the same just eyeballing it as years ago.

Maybe I am missing something? Still not buying that volume is somehow in the toilet historically.

firstdivision's picture

Dollars != Volume, or are you really that retarded?  If 5 shares were the only thing trading today at $10 billion per share, does that mean volume is normal?  You really are quite dense if you believe that is correct. 

Additionally, you seem to not understand the difference between the NYSE and the S&P500, and I have no fucking clue why you were trying to point to an ETF as indicitive as the over all volume of shares traded.  I suggest you take some basic finance courses at your local community college before you continue posting. 

NoLongerABagHolder's picture

Look at the data again Mr. Anger Problem (but hey - the doom and gloom around ZH can cause that) - it has both dollars and share volume, and they haven't changed much. I ended up using actual SP 500 index volume - not the ETF in the above example as well. It looks about the same as the tracking ETF - imagine that.


Since you missed the truth through your doom colored glasses, the comment I made was:

"2009 shows group volume in the 30-50 billion dollar range every day, not much different than 2010 and 2011 numbers. And the NYSE group shares seem to be about the same just eyeballing it as years ago"

As in group share volume.

pwned ;)

firstdivision's picture

Wow, seriously?!?  Look at what you just quoted again.  Still talking about dollars as that is anything to rate share volume by.  Again share volume != dollar volume.  Shares trades are the actual shares not the dollar value of those shares traded.  I'm not talking about averages either.  If I had a link to a site that had the info for free for the NYSE then I would.  Unfortunately that info is only done by subscription basis.  But what you can find out is that there are 2317 different stocks on the NYSE that one can choose from, so 500 is not the full cabose.

NoLongerABagHolder's picture

I'll keep repeating it since you keep missing it, this time without the first sentence:

"And the NYSE group shares seem to be about the same just eyeballing it as years ago"

As in group share volume."

To help you with what group share volume is, I repeat yet again from the NYSE site itself:

"NYSE Daily Share Volume includes NYSE volume in all issues traded at the NYSE executed by NYSE.  NYSE Group Daily Share Volume in NYSE Listed Issues volume includes volume in NYSE Listed Issues executed by NYSE and NYSE Arca."

Group share volume of the NYSE, just eyeballing the day to day volume - hasn't changed all too much.

Regardless, Tyler was using the ES - which is the SP 500 futures to show how bad volume was. So I was saying in the last post, SP 500 volume today, although lower than the crisis time, is still higher than pre crisis.

Of which Tyler was then offended and thought himself cute by posting my comment as the impetus for a new article, and then proceeded to show the 200 MA of volume on the NYSE....


That's fine and dandy, this is his site and he can say what he wants. I just found it interesting that no one but me caught the slight of hand.

He has a true cult following.

No charge for this lesson.... ;)

Finn's picture

Since you're comparing dollar volumes, why not use Z$ as today's measure? They're both dollars, and it looks even better. Right?

For the statistically less challenged, it's pretty clear that the if argument about dollar volume were to even a drop of hold water, one would need to use inflation adjusted volumes as a minimal starting point, and that's real inflation, not what your fine gubernymint publishes. Tyler's approach of useing numerical volumes seems sooooo much more realistic, at least it compares apples to apples.

Derp2012's picture

This data seems correct, and it's disappointing that more people don't respond to your question in a reasonable way, for example by actually reading your posts -- and that Tyler seems to be data mining to support his thesis.  Thanks for persisting in pointing out the error.

Tyler's thesis that the market is a hoax could still be accurate, if we could deduct the HFT churn. I don't know where to get that data though. Even if the thesis is "correct" it doesn't make it OK to cherry-pick data to support it.  If I want bogus data, I can always go to the BLS website.


NoLongerABagHolder's picture

Thanks Derp

You may be the only other reasonable person on this site. At least you are the only one not clouded enough to read the ENTIRE post. The fact tha another came on and ranted about dollar volume is a bit shocking. Makes you wonder if he read anything but the other guys post.

StychoKiller's picture

I seem to recall that Daimler-Benz once owned Chrysler.  Deutsche Bourse, watch out, some o'deez blushing-bride American companies might be packing "junk in the trunk"!

tmosley's picture

Clearly you are picking data points.  You have to go back to before the beginning of time to really be impartial.  Hell, we are WAYYYY up from the constant zero volume that we saw before the exchange was founded!

Dr. Porkchop's picture

He called the creationist museum, and they confirmed; lowest volume since JC rode in on a dinosaur 6k years ago.. the beginning.

Michael's picture

Volume, Volume? We don't need no stinking Volume!

Michael's picture

All your Volumes are belong to us.

dan10400's picture

Jim Cramer I presume.   For a nano-second HFT trade I thought you were talking about Jesus Christ.   Silly me.

Zero Govt's picture


All i hear all bloody day is stocks are a Fed conspiracy and "Don't fight the Fed" the markets are going skywards. How can you fight the Fed when their cavalry can't be seen anywhere to be fought? The volumes on all 3 US markets have been pitiful and same goes for most European Indexes, where is the mighty midget worrier!!! 

If the Fed are pumping up stocks where's the hard evidence of the bearded midgets steroid abuse? Everyone and their cat has been crediting the Fed with this stock market rally but these blind pussies haven't noticed it's just the usual dead cat bounce not the tubby midget punching above his weight.

Let's be fair too, everything the Fed says is total BS designed to sucker the gullible. So when the Fed says they're focusing on stocks you can bet their money is just being pissed down a toilet at another Wall Street bank or Treasury bailout (because no foreigners will buy their toxic shit) to prop them up.

lincolnsteffens's picture

This is one humongous dead cat bounce! There is no way a market can perform like stocks have been performing without help. That dead cat must have been getting high on helium before falling off the cliff.

mynhair's picture

What, the pig Market is closed?  Just can't tell anymore....

papaswamp's picture

Lean Hog or Pork Bellies?

Rainman's picture

Yowza...that buy and hold philosoopy must be coming back in vogue.

SunSword's picture

You might not be far off. People who used to put money into their 401K -- now are not. But they are not liquidating the 401K either. So they are not buying or selling.

Now it can be argued, especially based on current insider selling ratio and everything else that is going on, that they should sell. But then what are they going to do? They either leave their 401K dollars IN dollars -- an obviously bad move -- or put them somewhere else. Problem is, you can't buy physical gold and silver with 401K (oh yeah you CAN in the sense that you can give it to someone who claims to buy the gold and silver and do you trust that?) So people are stuck.

Alienated Serf's picture

you nailed my situation perfectly

CrazyCooter's picture

Most 401k's will let you borrow your own money, usually up to 50%, and do what ever you wish. Take half, buy gold and silver, and do a 5 year repayment plan.

I did.


cougar_w's picture

Oh look, my trade of 10 shares during lunch time made a significant blip in volumes! I'm a market mover now boo-yah!

mynhair's picture

Geez, another falls victim to NFLX.  All bow heads in mourning.

StychoKiller's picture

I'm looking forward to the day when science isolates the coloration-gene from tigers and can find a way to place it in common house-cats, that would really be the cat's meow!

Ferg .'s picture

I've pointed this out in past posts but I think it's appropriate to mention it once again :

Take a look at a chart of the DJIA or the S&P 500 from the 2009 bottom to the present day . Then take a look at volume over the same period . Compare the two . The inverse correlation between the indexes and volume is glaring .

cougar_w's picture

We hear all those collocation boxes can fetch a pretty penny when the price of stainless steel hits infinity.

Stainless is fine and all, but how much actual tungsten do they contain? That's where the action is, yeah man.

alien-IQ's picture

I am Jacks smirking revenge:-)

monopoly's picture

Do these idiots think we are that stupid. What the F.... Don't know when this will end but it will be the shot "heard round the world".

max2205's picture

Divergence trades = suicide

vote_libertarian_party's picture

And if you only counted non-HFT trades...yikes!!!

Island_Dweller's picture

And how much of this is High Frequency Trading playing musical chairs?

whatsinaname's picture

thanks for the chart TD. Very nice.

More M&A business for da bankers.

Selling more exchanges.

cougar_w's picture

Well. My 10 shares were not traded with any frequency. So there's a data point for you.

buzzsaw99's picture

This is bullish, right?

topcallingtroll's picture

yeah.  but only if I go short.

Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture




1) Your typical short term perspective

2) A long term perspective TO PROVE YOUR CASE!