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Market Volume Hits Fresh Non-Holiday Decade Lows

Tyler Durden's picture


Surrealer and Surrealer (sp.) is the only way to describe today's activity. With a technical halt in CME's oil complex trading which was quite obviously driven by some rogue algo between Oil futures and the USO oil ETF, perhaps it is no surprise that today's NYSE volume (16% below the year's average volume) is the lowest on Bloomberg data for a non-Holiday day in over a decade. ES (the e-mini S&P futures contract) also had a dismal day with the day's total just beating February 6th previous multi-year low (non-holiday) volume and 30% below the 50-day average volume.

NYSE volume (NYSEVOL on BBG) made a new low for the year (which means decade also) as today saw volumes 16% below an already terribly low year average.

ES volumes were terrible too though average trade size is dropping at around 4.14 contracts per trade (well off its peak over 5 last week) perhaps suggesting the bigger players are positioned and now the smaller ones are chasing (who is trading European financial credit - which has sold off significantly and is at two week wides? big professional traders or small retail traders?). Also perhaps its a notable coincidence that we have seen these kind of 'incredible' ramps a few times in the last few years - each red block is the same size and period.


Charts: Bloomberg


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Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:20 | 2155155 SMG
SMG's picture

Surely somehow this is bullish.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:41 | 2155256 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Sure it is!  Everyone knows that light volume in an uptrend is [cough] bullish!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:00 | 2155343 GernB
GernB's picture

If by bullish you mean everyone else should buy. Then yes, by all means.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:15 | 2155404 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

It is certainly All Priced In.


BTW, the asteroid that will be hitting the earth in December is priced in as well.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:50 | 2155517 shuckster
shuckster's picture

Baked in

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:42 | 2155489 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

DOW 36 000! Btchz

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:06 | 2155368 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

It is. For people in shorts.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 20:00 | 2155801 ConspiracyTheory
ConspiracyTheory's picture

Light volume means a lot of money still stays on the sidelines and many people miss the rally! Hedge funds are waiting so desperately for a 5-10% retracement so they can put their money in. Some of them are talking and writing doom and gloom news to make it happen. But the market doesn't let them! If the market keeps grinding higher slowly, those people will start to panic. It'll be very funny to see when the market breaks key resistance level, the move and volume instead just start to accelerate

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:23 | 2155164 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Something resembling stall speed. We know what happens after that if there's no corrective action.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:23 | 2155174 navy62802
navy62802's picture

... the Bernanke anti-gravity machine shoots us to the fucking moon.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:25 | 2155168 SloMoe
SloMoe's picture

I wonder if this is more a reflection of the decline in proprietary trading, than a general lack of interest??

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 22:49 | 2156244 CPL
CPL's picture

The answer is yes.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:23 | 2155170 Black Forest
Black Forest's picture

It was me who bought something.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:16 | 2155410 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

Me too.


Another stack of silver coins.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:23 | 2155172 SAME AS IT EVER WAS

dark pools maybe?

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:26 | 2155173 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea it was all 'dismal' today and all...yet all markets deep in the green of course...only a few more of these 1% up days on zero volume, and equity markets will bust thru all-time previous record bubble highs! 10-15 more trading days and counting till DOW 14,500!! Wahoo!!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:35 | 2155236 Hippocratic Oaf
Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Machines are doing just enough buying to stay green for obama.

Retail doesn't give two shits about equities that are about to crack and hi-grade corp/muni/treasury that is yield-lo/price-hi.

To say the market is slow is an UNDERSTATEMENT!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:37 | 2155242 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Think they can pull that off for another 10 months straight? I dont!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:43 | 2155269 Hippocratic Oaf
Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Nope. That's why a lot of my clients are currently sitting in ponzi paper,

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:11 | 2155385 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

Interesting wave counts. According to some analysis, we're just about ready to roll over. Tomorrow might be interesting.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:25 | 2155180 HD
HD's picture

So what happens in a market making "all time highs" on no volume, with few shorts, with massive redemptions, high unemployment, increasing inflation, and entire countries defaulting - supported almost exclusively by an ocean of central bank money printing?


Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:28 | 2155191 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I guess what happens is, pop the cork on another few bottles of Dom? ones picking up the tab anyway, get down and PARTAY!!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:19 | 2155420 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

Oh, someone's "picking up the tab" alright.


See those two over in the corner table.

One is Benny, and the other is Timmah.

But when the waiter comes with the check, they will have gone to the Mens room, and out the window.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:55 | 2155537 shuckster
shuckster's picture

They'll be hitting the meth pipe in the bathroom and probably just stab the waiter

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:55 | 2155325 SMG
SMG's picture

Oh that's easy, it keeps going up..FOREVER! 

Gosh you're just not very good at this are you?

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:16 | 2155408 hettygreen
hettygreen's picture

For the vast majority it doesn't mean a damn thing. For those who pay attention and have skin in the game it's absofuckinglutely rivetting! Seriously when was the last time trading volume fell to decade lows? Last Thursday or Friday wasn't it? I get the feeling the plummeting volume storyline for 2012 (at least until sometime in March -maybe) is going to sound like a broken record on this site. At some point that George Santayana quote is going to be mighty relevant.  

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:25 | 2155183 juicyfruit
juicyfruit's picture

bullish!!!.....i hope the markets open tomorrow morning down -20%.and stay there......and wipe out a bunch of knuckle heads....but nope, illegal to sell more than buying  now, so up we go.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:07 | 2155373 GernB
GernB's picture

Come on, P/E ratio is a pitiful 22+, the market is a fricken bargain. Never mind that the median is 16.42. It only makes sense to factor that in if you forget that the economy is fixed now. Happy days are here again. We can all do the dance of joy and go full bore into equities.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:27 | 2155188 ekm
ekm's picture


Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:46 | 2155283 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The second LTRO tranche is on its way (Feb 29th) and Bernanke is going to buy MBS like it is going out of style from here on out.  Interest rates are negative in real terms and they will be going lower (per policy) and the inflating currencies will make all asset classes higher.  Yet this is merely Keynesian policy.  The policy that Bernanke, Krugman, and all other PhDs all Universities teach.  I know, it might sound crazy if you have not taken an econ class, but the policy being instituted by the ECB and the Fed is a science.  It's fucking science.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:09 | 2155375 GernB
GernB's picture

Only if you equate one giant experiment to science.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:27 | 2155189 sadpanda
sadpanda's picture

I plan on averaging down my faz. Other than that I'll stack physical silver.  Let them eat cake.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:27 | 2155192 Let them eat iPads
Let them eat iPads's picture

Apple IS the market now.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 19:00 | 2155554 shuckster
shuckster's picture

QE 7 headline to read "Apple to receive $7 trillion in stimulus money, saving 20,000 jobs"

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:29 | 2155200 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

The /ES at this 1350 level is either ripe for a big pullback or it's gonna break out to multi year highs.

Given how completely fucked the global economy is looking, it seems only natural that the /ES will rip to some preposterously stratospheric level. If only to rub it in the faces of the plebs.

Up is down, black is white, in is out.

"Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad"
Aldous Huxley

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:03 | 2155356 FreeNewEnergy
FreeNewEnergy's picture

Left is right, war is peace, good is evil.


I gave up gambling in 2006, stock speculating in 2007 and took up drinking full time in 2010. I smoke too much, don't exercise enough, but feel pretty good most of the time.

I figure I might as well enjoy what little life is left before the troika or some other three-headed monster comes and kills me.

Good thing I started buying gold and silver in earnest in 2004.

Here's a kicker. eBay extended me 6 months no payments, no interest, so I went and bought all the silver coins I could. Got them at less than spot, too.

Win, win, #winning.

That Sheen character's got nothing on me... except money, looks, 8-balls and $500 hookers.

Ah, hell, anther Vodka and cranberry, bartender.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:29 | 2155202 user2011
user2011's picture

It is very scary when an ordinary joe can become a market making by placing orders.  

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 19:03 | 2155574 shuckster
shuckster's picture

Someone should arrange a flash-mob via twitter where everyone sells at the same time, crashes the market 10% then buys back - give the HFT's a run for their money

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:29 | 2155203 monopoly
monopoly's picture

No volume up drafts scare me. And when it dumps, and it will, I assure you it will be on Sunday night when most of us can only stare into the headlights. 

This market is not for me. I will let Robot make all those extra profits based on true fundamentals. 

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:29 | 2155204 adr
adr's picture

Bot Block Bull Market Ramp Jobs???

So is this one over? If the goal is for insiders to position themselves before the ramp, then run a pre-made trading program designed to run up stocks to a pre-determined exit point. Giving them all easily accountable gains, it may be over. In any manipulation, you wouldn't want it to get out of control. You would plan how the end plays out before you start.

Very strange how each ramp is almost the same size and duration. It would be fun to chart certain momo stocks over each period. If the percentage moves over each period come very close, it would pretty much prove outright manipulation.

Or maybe Apple reaching $500 a share is really all about Chinese buying iPads.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:37 | 2155244 HD
HD's picture

"Or maybe Apple reaching $500 a share is really all about Chinese buying iPads."

Indeed. The families of suicidal workers who threw themselves off a roof rather than make one more fucking iPad all receive a 10% coupon off any apple product.

If Apple knows anything - it's how to drive sales.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:13 | 2155390 GernB
GernB's picture

It's a promotion. They have excess resl-estae in China so you get a free house with each iPad.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:30 | 2155207 Jason T
Jason T's picture

On Balance Volume??? ..thinking Joe Grenville

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:31 | 2155213 Lady Heather...UNCLE
Lady Heather...UNCLE's picture

...what is there that stops the FED from owning EVERY stock?

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:39 | 2155252 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Well thats just what theyre doing, buying every bond and stock, with their own fake money. Now when I was telling people 3 YEARS ago this is JUST what they would do, I was laughed and scoffed at as a 'conspiracy nut', and of course that 'could never happen'. 

Well, here we are!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:12 | 2155388 FreeNewEnergy
FreeNewEnergy's picture

Newz flash: You are a conspiracy nut, Sheep-dog, and a damned good one. Alex Jones sends his love.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:14 | 2155396 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

True, but now we're laughing at you for other reasons.

Just kiddin ya, SD ;-)

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:13 | 2155395 GernB
GernB's picture

Why would they do that when they can hand out free money and let other people take the risk buying equities with free money.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:32 | 2155216 EyeQ
EyeQ's picture

Please stop making inquiries - 

signed - Mr Trading Computer

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:33 | 2155225 youngman
youngman's picture

Yes it is very volume melt ups...and the talking heads sing its praises....Apple $500....Dow close to 13,000.......tell one tell all....wierd....

But to me the exchanges have to be losing money...and the smart money has to see this also and is out of the market..something is stinking in the exchanges...

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:44 | 2155275 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Almost like theyre just very desperate to make things 'look good' until 1 day not far at all from now?

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:34 | 2155226 The_Emperor
The_Emperor's picture

On your chart the market is up on Q1 and then gets crushed in the following quarter.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:34 | 2155230 REALTRADE
REALTRADE's picture

How does this matter? Zerohedge has been preaching the same doom and gloom for years. Geez we get it already, the market is manipulated. If you don't like the rules don't play. Sometimes the articles are noteworthy and informative, but it begets the question about what are you gonna do about it? I didnt even want to post this, but everyday I see the tyler durden dick suckers here following their false phrophet into whatever shallow grave he has dug. Guess what? The machine will continue to take your liberties away, will continue to make more and more rules till everyone is at some point doing something illegal, and will continue to squeeze you out slowly. BUT YOU CANT DON SHIT ABOUT stop whining and pass the lube

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:43 | 2155265 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Of course the real funny part is 2 or 3 years ago when ZH was saying the markets are manipulated, and getting moreso, everyone just scoffed and laughed at that as being ridiculous. Now that its undeniable markets are manipulated frauds, everyone just says 'well thats old news, but what are you going to do about it'?

Well, what are YOU going to do about it?

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:44 | 2155271 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Thank you so much for your concern and your friendly words.

Now fuck off, asshole.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:04 | 2155358 HD
HD's picture

How does this matter?

The vast majority of motor vehicle fatalities are the result of people not wearing seat belts. People don't wear them because the underestimate the risk, they don't believe they will be in a serious crash, or they believe they will see it coming and avoid it. After all - they have been driving every day for years and nothing has ever happened before.

Complacency and hubris almost always have a high cost. TPTB count on people putting their head in the sand and just going along for the ride...until the music stops. Banks, hedge funds, CNBC and politicians all desperately need the "dumb money" to believe and come back. It hasn't. It won't.

The market will run on fumes until it can't any longer.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:09 | 2155376 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I think you are right. The MSM keeps pounding the desks that once the retail guy gets in the market will really take off. Does not seem like they are taking the bait this time.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:16 | 2155405 HD
HD's picture

Yup. Look at redemptions over the past few years. The only way traders make money is to skim off the top of retail investors and weekly mutual fund inflows. TPTB are spooked because there is no one to steal from except each other.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:07 | 2155370 RSDallas
RSDallas's picture

Real,  Unfortunately you are somewhat right.  I don't think anyone had any idea that the market would become this blatantly manipulated.  I don't come here for advice on stocks.  I haven't invested in equities since before the crash, but I don't think that is what this site is about.  What they have proved is that they seem too better understand the corruption that is going on than most financial sites.  They also have demonstrated a high degree of knowledge of the inner workings of all markets and what the implications could be as a result of the scams unfolding from central banks around the globe.  This is really a good source of knowledge once you learn to get past some of the posts from his guests and a hand full of the sites followers. 

I think everyone agrees that what is going on around the world in our financial markets is not sustainable.  Just sit back and contemplate the trillions of dollars that have been and are scheduled to be printed just between the US and Europe!  The world is currently acting like a helium balloon that is being inflated and everyone knows what could happen to that balloon if it gets over filled.  Some people are going to get seriously clobbered when this market all of the sudden decides not to go up.  Tic toc tic toc, but in the meantime, all the power to you!  Invest on you dumb ass!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 19:29 | 2155695 REALTRADE
REALTRADE's picture

I will continue you to "invest on", you must have not gotten the memo about my trade this market, thats it...if you pull out a few points everyday and go home at the end of the day in cash it doesnt matter how manipulated the market is...because I'm not in long enough to care. Sure the ballon will pop...but do you know when that is? So we let all the oppurtunities pass us by just because 1 day in the distant future the market might crash. I've been hearing this market is broken rhetoric from 2009....and yet here we are 5k off the low. Well you'll be right at some point, even a broken clock is. I think tyler needs his balls washed again....maybe one of you lackees can get the brush.

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 09:40 | 2156979 RSDallas
RSDallas's picture

My guess is that you are sooooo bitter because you are loosing your ass in this market.  Here is a little tip, It's designed that way!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:34 | 2155232 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture


Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:43 | 2155266 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

They're all drinking FED Light...great taste, less volume.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:46 | 2155284 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture


Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:44 | 2155276 RSDallas
RSDallas's picture

Volume doesn't seem to matter.  This market is eerie.  It just seems to move up in this weird ultra slow motion fashion.  It's almost like there isn't really anyone trading, but rather someone sitting at a computer just slowly piling on the buy orders.  I have never seen anything like this in my 22 years of investing and this is the 3rd year of this!

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:46 | 2155282 samsara
samsara's picture

Unpresidented LOW NYSE Volume,  

Is this analogous to the water receding way way out just before the BIG wave comes in and wrecks everything for miles?

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:51 | 2155309 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

While charting silver this weekend I had the same thought, "When is the next big wave coming?"

One time when I was in Hawaii I went surfing with some family friends.  I had never been before.  I tried to catch every wave I saw.  After a few hours I notied my friends father had caught one wave, and he spent all his time sitting far out.  After we had lunch I asked him about it.  "There weren't many waves today."  He said. 

"But you never even tried to catch the small ones.  How did you know they wouldn't turn into big waves?"  I asked.

"When you learn to surf, you know how to spot a wave before it's a wave."  He said knowingly.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:55 | 2155321 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Rick Santelli said a few weeks ago it's like a poker game where everyone keeps pushing money around the table but everyone knows they can't cash out.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:46 | 2155337 Conman
Conman's picture

Except its more like Rounders, where all the "veteran" players at the table are working together to bust the newbies who sit down unsuspectingly.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:57 | 2155329 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

What I don't get is that there have been several times lately where a selloff starts to look serious. On this low volume you would think a giant plunge will happen. Instead a half hour later the losses are gone.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 17:59 | 2155336 chump666
chump666's picture

Flash Crash on the cards.  Got a three way for the panic (nice spread): Europe (of course) China (invertible) and the USA (something is brewing).

The more the volume gets sucked out and the market keeps a bizarre momo trading range via HFTs, the guts will fall out soon.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:38 | 2155467 navy62802
navy62802's picture

The market has had a strange feel to it since the year started. Very light volume. Very little news, with the rioting in Greece this past weekend being the biggest headline so far. Tech bubble reinflating. Credit bubble reinflating. I mean everyone's bullish, but it just doesn't have a very good feel ... at least to me.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 21:06 | 2156012 chump666
chump666's picture

and me. It's topped.  I would 100% by a long and see if the momos take this to 13000 on the DOW.  But, profit taking is in, all we need is a panic and volatlity will swing back.  So it's mini index shorts (futures) on now.

ZH points out a crucial warning sign, money is leaving the market.  Any specs left lose their never...boom. It's going down.

The next (possible) Greek PM just said he wants to change the bailout package prior to Greek elections!!! Greece back on the market rader in 48hrs.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 18:02 | 2155338 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

"I ask you all:  who needs volume when you have terabyte processors, a direct connection, algorithms, and these eyes!?!?"

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 19:57 | 2155791 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Oxygen ...(gasp) ...oxygen.... (gulp) ....oxygen

...where the hell is Blowjob Ben and QE13 ?

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 21:21 | 2156054 luna_man
luna_man's picture



At some point, maybe, real soon, the hopeful, recovery folks, will understand the significance of low volume.

How many times has MY MAIN MAN posted it in the last month or two?

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 21:38 | 2156097 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture very spooky at the highs the black ...hooooole.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 23:09 | 2156291 Dorky
Dorky's picture

It's exactly because of low volume that the market will continue up, you stupid!

Do you really think the market can be so straightforward?

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 08:00 | 2156812 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

those that manage private money, can only invest with inside info most likely from the FED and Gov.

to invest w/o the ben put is suicide. a major change in US elections of senate and house with say R Paul is the one event to bring this market back to reality. we get romney or the mulatto puppet and it's back to melt ups fo- ever.

tyler your history has not been with the melt up, but your advice should be a warning to all who risk money in this market. the Fed is sure they are TBTF. but the old saying applies to us all: the best laid plans of mice and men..

daytrading and out at close is as a good tool as we have,today, but big bets are sooo balllsy with flash crash always lurking. One slip up one major server down and who knows?



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