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Summer Doldrums: Unchanged Market On Collapsing Volume

Tyler Durden's picture


This is the where we would normally do our daily market summary, but frankly there is no longer a market left to summarize: today's volume may not have been the lowest of 2012, including holidays, but it was close. Total volume on Tape A for all exchanges was just above 3 billion shares, 20% below the YTD average, which in turn is 20% below the 2011 average, and so on. As more and more firms such as Knight are carted out, and as confidence in the market follows the US corn reports percentage of corn in "good excellent" condition lower to zero, and then negative (why not? We have NIRP in half the developed world after all) more firms will have no choice but to go out of business: some may blame their extinction on a rogue algo, some on a social network IPO, but the reality is that unless trading volume picks up, banks and trading desks, in their current shape, are doomed.

As for that dump of ES into the last minute of trading to an unchanged close, it would have been almost notable, if anything about the preceding 8 hours rise in the stock market heading into it was also notable, instead of merely the artifact of what everyone now knows is merely a buy everything algorithm belonging to either Knight, or one of its increasingly smaller competitors.

Let the cannibalization begin.


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Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:47 | 2682798 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

Couldn't happen to a nicer group of criminals.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:50 | 2682811 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

Hannibal Lechter would be proud.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:56 | 2682837 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

I do wish we could chat longer, but... I'm having an old friend for dinner. Bye. 

Best line in the movie...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:18 | 2682903 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

What's this?

This is the worlds smallest violin...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:53 | 2683185 The Watchman
The Watchman's picture

you just need some of this....

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:59 | 2682847 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

so would hitler

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:04 | 2682860 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

Whats your favorite Hitler quote?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:03 | 2682858 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

mmm...  fava beans & negative corn (non-GMO, thank goodness!) with a nice glass of zirponzi

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:52 | 2682819 Clueless Economist
Clueless Economist's picture

At least CNBC's ratings are way up.

Folks who try to help the "little guy" like Cramer, Liesman, Pisani and crew, will always earn high viewership.


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:01 | 2682853 IndicaTive
IndicaTive's picture

With "help" like that, who needs bath salts?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:13 | 2683097 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

We're going to need bath salts to live through a dystopian future where we will have to cannibalize our neighbors' faces to survive.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:24 | 2682915 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Gambling for little teenie tiny pieces of completely worthless green paper

How exciting...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:39 | 2682937 financial apoca...
financial apocalyptic contagion's picture

"little teenie tiny pieces of completely worthless green paper"
those green pieces can buy you important stuff you fuckin hippie
dont hate the messenger..... 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:09 | 2682877 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

S P U T U M  P O N Z I  D R I P

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:50 | 2682806 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Fixed cost meets shrinking T/o


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:50 | 2682807 Neethgie
Neethgie's picture

Gross was right, for all the wrong reasons, people arent gonna leave equities because of small gdp growth ect, people are leaving equities because nonsense rallies fuelled by about 10 algo's are the only players in this market, you sometimes wonder while trading "how many others are in this" websites like stock twits show how alarmingly few twitter users are trading, infact type in $AAPL on twitter to find only the few bbg tv fellows talking about it.

Gross said equities would die for a whole host of reasons.

nope equities are dying because we have no faith left in the market, their is no belief in it anymore knight caPITal ect shows nothing is real, we had a 80c spike in crude oil because a fake twitter acc said assad died..

but just think how ridiculous that even is? syria is already in a civil war, syria is not a major oil producer, assad dying would bring to an end the instability should be oil negative.... like when monti says the ecb will expand its balance sheet, it should be eur negative but it isnt... the whole market is broken by algos

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:55 | 2682830 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

What about all the working stiffs that are forced to play through their limited 401k plans?  Seems like there might be some blowback should all the 401k holders suddenly find that their accounts have been "corzined".

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:58 | 2682843 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Today is three month (to the day) I can liberate my 401k from Wells Fargo w/o penalty Wish me luck.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:19 | 2682904 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Good luck bud.  I got the fuck out of my employer's simple plan...  the estimated tax has been paid and it is a distant memory now...  I will never voluntarily contribute to another retirement account...  never again.  (social security obviously being a straight tax with a different name).

Tue, 08/07/2012 - 00:54 | 2683860 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Got mine out in June...What a relief...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:41 | 2682943 ZaphodBeeblebrox
ZaphodBeeblebrox's picture

For those so lucky to be Corzined. I think the more prevalent issue is those of us who are being forced to Corzine/borrow our 401k. Then who knows maybe economy has turned a corner and we'll all be paying off those loans with our new pay raises!

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:39 | 2683165 HellFish
HellFish's picture

I took out a max loan on my 401K - I figure if I get corzined at least some of the money won't be there to be stolen.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:13 | 2683118 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Detroitifaction of America.

(Will the last grifter please pull the ' We Buy Blood Plasma " sign down on your way out.)

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:50 | 2682809 AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

People so easily forget the horrors that program trading exacted on the world in October of 87.... I don't think today's young analysts could handle a 22% drop in equities in a single day.... only "up" computes. Well, that and "QE".

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:50 | 2682810 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

And why would trading pick up, 'investor confidence' will make a U-turn? I wouldnt bet on it.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:55 | 2682833 Hype Alert
Hype Alert's picture

Article in today's WSJ about Macro Funds not being able to make money in a gov't/central bank manipulated market.  Some of them are closing shop and returning customer's money.  When the funds give up...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:33 | 2682926 larz
larz's picture

These guys are giving up because the cover is coming off their sure thing trades.  You need to be nimble and smart, dont give up none of those people that were hired 'second generation' can trade - i have interviewed and backed some of them to my dismay. There is opportunity if you make it

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:53 | 2682824 Jlmadyson
Jlmadyson's picture

Like I said in the other thread:

They got this down to an art as it's not the last minutes anymore but seconds.

Anyhow Treasury burning through 25B on Friday....a real coincidence with Knight burning eh.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:01 | 2682850 magpie
magpie's picture

They'll just shut down another stock exchange to make up for the missing liquidity.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:54 | 2682829 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

3 billion shares. How much of that is just churn? You know, one market order generating 6 subpenny swaps in nanoseconds before it's filled?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:07 | 2682874 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

75% minimum.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:55 | 2682831 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Your mom's unched!

            ---your local neighborhood fratboy/broker

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:57 | 2682840 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture


Revgenge is sweet.

Caught in their own Muppet trap.


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:06 | 2682872 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

here's friday's top-caller, barely sweating...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:15 | 2682891 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Nice of them to give us the extra day to take profits huh. 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:29 | 2682921 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Look at AAPl

Does that PE Ratio seem ok?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:58 | 2682842 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

Those quick last minute dumps are the nyfed taking advantage of imbalances to sell into hard, adding new short positions that they can "buy to cover" in the wee hours of the morning. With the aid of computer timing, lift the market with very little effort... Perhaps the nyfed wants /es above 1400 before sunrise ?


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 16:58 | 2682844 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Just wait until firms start raiding segregated accounts and shit!  Then it's really going to be game over!


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:18 | 2682900 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Wait until? Where is Jon Corzine?

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:00 | 2682849 Ludwig
Ludwig's picture

Encouraging day for gold miners.

Chart here:


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 20:13 | 2683205 GAAPpreNixon
GAAPpreNixon's picture

Maybe for the OWNERS of gold mining stocks but not for the miners themseves. Gold mining is one of dirtiest mining operations around. We don't need to mine gold to use it as a store of wealth. If all the mines were shut down, the above ground gold you have would gain in wealth and you wouldn't be contributing to global pollution by buying gold mining stocks. Gold can be subdivided into nanometer amounts so it could always be used as a backing for a currency and a store of wealth.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:03 | 2682857 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

low volume, bullish, nobody want's to sell.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:06 | 2682996 Haager
Haager's picture

Reminds me of the album from the famous Marketdeth: "No sells... but who's buying", including suck tracks as  "Wake up, debt", "The mortgage",  "Good money, black friday", "I ain't superrich" and so on-

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:03 | 2682859 bolen
bolen's picture

under NIRP no business is going to work anymore. we are doomed. we cannot earn enough for even our food!

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:12 | 2682883 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

But the beauty of NIRP is that the bank will pay you to take out a loan.  < sarc off >

Sorry, that's NIRP for the banks, not you.  Your 401k and treasury holdings will be paying off the debt.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:45 | 2682955 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Don't know why you were junked for that comment. Rand must be running around here somewhere.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:58 | 2682975 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Around here, stupid seems to self-identify.  Most sheeple don't understand math and interest rates, much less negative interest rates.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:04 | 2682861 max2205
max2205's picture

A good number of stocks up 5% or more today. Nice

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:05 | 2682862 Dubaibanker
Dubaibanker's picture

But the best news of the day was one Dutch Institutional Investor going after the squid....I don't think I have seen the squid getting sued in a court of law. Not only this should be fun...but maybe start of a new trend...maybe...just maybe.......Who will sue whom in the coming months is not just wishful thinking but happening in reality....IRS sues Swiss banks....Dutch Pension fund sues Goldman....NY Financial Regulator sues SCB...Seems like a Free for all (Globalisation at work?) in a race to the bottom?

Is volume heading to Mars? Just curios(ity)? Above the stratosphere? I am pretty sure Martians would be laughing at the stock market conditions on this planet and thanking their stars that they never invested in Earth.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:09 | 2682878 Jlmadyson
Jlmadyson's picture

I saw that Knight has its first investigation by some law firm today as well.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:06 | 2682868 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Gee,  I guess when the word's out that the games are rigged, and the Gambling Commission is on the take, or asleep at the wheel, more than a few players decide to play elsewhere or not at all.  In such event, some of the casinos may have to go dark. There's only so many fools to go around.  Shame isn't it.  But, no great loss. Who needs machinery to raise equity capital when it can just be printed at NIRP?  For what businesses? Groupons and Zyngas? Facebooks and [fill in name of silly company].  You have to be a dumb ass to put your money in stuff like that. But for 401ks, where would the equity markets be anyway? 401ks = busload of $10 roll of quarters tourists who are forced to play. 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:13 | 2682884 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Volume will only come back with volatility.  

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 20:24 | 2683224 GAAPpreNixon
GAAPpreNixon's picture

In order to have volume OR volatility that is credible you need a stock market that is credible. Picture a whale in a bathtub full of water. YOU are not the whale. Lots of luck believing you have more than a minnow's chance against that whale to predict stock moves. The whale will  short squeeze you to oblivion or pump and dump you to poverty. Wake the fuck UP!

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:15 | 2682895 Jlmadyson
Jlmadyson's picture

Quick someone start a fake twitter account and float Timmy G is stepping down tomorrow.

That should get em going.

/smartest guys in the room

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:16 | 2682897 larz
larz's picture

As long as there is a daily range the market is paying.  It is my job to make sure it is me.  Low volume becomes secondary - Im just sayin'

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 20:26 | 2683239 GAAPpreNixon
GAAPpreNixon's picture

I suggest you consider a career change while you brush up on the law of diminishing returns.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:16 | 2682899 Mr_Wonderful
Mr_Wonderful's picture

It´s a bear market. You expect violent moves in such a market and typically it´s at a top right before something very bad hits and it collapses. This current bear started in 2001 and the market has already collapsed by 50% twice. The frequency of collapses of that magnitude is likely to increase in the coming years. Then you have the problem that this market has been totally un-regulated. So, massive stock-watering scams like GE, MSFT, INTC, CSCO and others linger on since the 90´s. Much of this overissued crap needed to be written off by reverse splits years ago. It will continue to be a serious overhang in this market.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:18 | 2682901 worbsid
worbsid's picture

If algos are 60% of the equity market and the market is 60% of normal, does that mean not one person is in there?

I understand that. 

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:18 | 2682905 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

So let's summarize.

1) Things are NOT going to get any better. (The amount of time this will continue is currently unknown)

2) There will be a gigantic collapse.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:28 | 2682919 FiatFapper
FiatFapper's picture

xxxCHF on the move.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:36 | 2682933 Cage Rattler
Cage Rattler's picture

apparently errant citi algo in eurchf cross

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:49 | 2682928 ekm
ekm's picture

How long can the Fed and Primary Dealers continue like this? I thought they'd have bought up the whole market by now?


Retail is selling via fund redemptions and the Primary Dealers are buying using Fed's funds or to paraphrase Zerohedge, FLOW IS MANDATORY.


When would the time be that they basically buy up the whole market and NYSE has to almost go out of business due to zero volume, same as in 2008?


Or probably, they have already bought up the S&P and they're just selling stocks to each other back and forth! MFG couldn't do that with italian bonds. How long can these guys continue AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE? It's a losing game.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:37 | 2682932 Jlmadyson
Jlmadyson's picture

AP: Fed Survey: Tighter US loan standards for Europe banks.

One said considerably. Yea good ole repo market starting to feel the pain.

Hey, who needs Libor right.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:37 | 2682934 kill switch
kill switch's picture

I love this,,



Standard Chartered Bank: “You fucking Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”
Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:46 | 2683064 hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Good spot, here is the link.....

Interesting implications...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:40 | 2682940 youngman
youngman's picture

This is why the NYSE was trying to sell itself...they can see that they are losing all the players....same goes for the London Metals market..they are going to lose all of their customers as all the hard metal moves to the East.....pretty hard to have all those employees manning the vaults when there is nothing left in the vaults.....same with the stock have all the people on the computers waiting for orders that never come...twiddle dee twiddled to cut expenses somewhere...and those gold mines of IPO´s are drying up...especially after Faceplant..and Weston Conn has to have a lot of real estate for sale I assume...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:43 | 2682946 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Makes it all the easier for a Company to buy back there own shares. Not sure I'd wanna be a wheeler and dealer right now of course. And I still don't
know if the politicians are running all out against a mere majority of us sheeple or every friggin one of us. "Project Mayhem" proceeds apace. Invest accordingly!

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 17:43 | 2682948 q99x2
q99x2's picture

I would like to see a post on how hungry algos feeding, even in low volume, drive the market higher as they siphon out money. Whose money are they eating? Because if they are feeding on each other you would think the market would go lower. But maybe it drives the markets higher even as they consume it.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:58 | 2683189 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

I thought it works like this..  JPM desk A passes a token 100 shares of xys to JPM desk B let's say at 10 bucks per.  JPM desk B then passes said stock on to desk A for $10.25, then back to B for $10.50.  Along comes dip shit who sees the market getting away from him and buys 1000 shares at $10.50.   JPM desks A+B laugh there ass off as the real price is $9.50 and on and on through out the market with their tiny token bids and asks creating fake prices for who ever the next dip shit is that happens along.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 22:24 | 2683553 CCanuck
CCanuck's picture

+1, for the "Dip Shit"

Still laughing,


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:08 | 2682997 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

End of wave 2 on SP500.  Brutally low volume.  Pending turn down - likely this week or tomorrow.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:08 | 2682999 GAAPpreNixon
GAAPpreNixon's picture

The Bernanke BullSHIT Market marches to ZIMBABWE HEAVEN!

Governments that hold a lot of U.S. Treasuries like BRIC, Japan and GERMANY are not happy campers. Expect a major hit to the dollar as the world reseve currency. The dollar now has the same street cred as Wall Street bankers. It takes decades for people to get over being conned.

How long do you think we can keep coercing other countries to back the dollar as the world reserve currency when there are only 35 countries in the world that consume more fuel than our military? What happens to the military when the dollar loses buying power for overseas oil? More war for more oil for the MILITARY? Talk about a circular argument!

The data below is 5 years old. It's even worse now.

Nigeria, with a population of more than 140 million, consumes as much energy as the U.S. military.

In 2006 Air Force consumed around 2.6 billion gallons of jet-fuel which is the same amount of fuel U.S. airplanes consumed during WWII (between December 1941 and August 1945).

The U.S. Navy is the largest diesel fuel user in the world, at least in 2005.

DoD occupies over 620,000 buildings and structures worth $600 billion comprising more than 400 installations on 25 million acres in the United States (almost as big as the land area of Virginia or less than South Carolina and New Jersey combined).

According to 2007 CIA World Fact Book there are only 35 countries in the world consuming more oil than DoD. Guess how many countries consume more oil per capita than the DoD? ONLY THREE.

According to Milton R. Copulos, President of the National Defense Council Foundation, the fixed costs of defending Persian Gulf oil amounts to $137.8 billion annually.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:18 | 2683022 sabra1
sabra1's picture


My advice? Simple. GET YOUR MONEY OUT, OUT, OUT OF 401(K)s and IRAs NOW. Take the penalty. Pay the tax. Whatever. Just get your money home. Because if the regime gets its hands on it, YOU WILL NEVER SEE A SINGLE PENNY OF IT AGAIN. It will be gone forever. I have actually been preaching this for over a year now, but since I have lots of new readers, you need to hear this. I am dead serious when I say that the safest place for your wealth right now is in gold and silver coins buried in a mayonnaise jar in your back yard. DEAD SERIOUS. No joke. No funny]ha]ha. Dead. Serious.

Spread the word.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:26 | 2683030 Racer
Racer's picture

"unless trading volume picks up, banks and trading desks, in their current shape, are doomed."

RIP Ponzi, the sooner we can get out of this mess...

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:36 | 2683045 Cheshire
Cheshire's picture

I learned here watch for the staircase. I saw 2 today. One at the upper limit and 1 at close.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:55 | 2683084 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

that latter ladder was down the up staircase, heading for the exits:> Walk Like An Egyptian <:

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:09 | 2683083 razorthin
razorthin's picture

SPX 1400 is pretty much it - end of the line without a real economy with real earnings.  You saw it ring that bell today before the sell-off on high volume.  Even though they've got the dollar going in their direction (down), there is no fuel in the tank for equities.  They could prop this pig for some time if the EU behaves, but I think there will be a sudden swoon very soon.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:58 | 2683090 Mr_Wonderful
Mr_Wonderful's picture

In the stock market the signs of a well run business in the long run will be  first and foremost a high stock price. It will be a multiple of some very serious dollar earnings. On the other hand you will have stock watering scams that make literally pennies on their overissued stock. Look around you. Take for example GE. This Co. has been in business for over a hundred years and its stock isn´t worth twenty bucks. This is because criminals have been in charge for periods in the company´s history and they have diluted the stock. This is a serious overhang in the market. This important co. isn´t alone in this. There are a multitude of reverse splits waiting to happen and even in the Dow Jones Industrial Average,

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:58 | 2683091 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

When corn and anti-corn come into contact with each other, watch out!

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:18 | 2683126 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

amen brotha.. you forgot the 4 dollar bump in crude friday just because 65k more were hired at mc donalds that was better than expected 100k. it just shake my head what a sham this whole tink was. Heres a hint. Retail would come back if you gave them normal healthy corrections and fundamentals data matered. CNBS only needs to be on 5 minutes of the day. Just tell us what the algos have programmed and we can just cut to 3pm and stop this silly nonsese.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:25 | 2683138 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

Well, you take NITE out of the picture (or at least clips their gonads), and I would expect some algo volume to taper today.

It's probably a bit of a Mexican standoff on whether those trade from last week fully settle.

If so, maybe some more algo volume returns but nothing from other trader/investors.

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 19:28 | 2683144 You Didn't Buil...
You Didn&#039;t Build That's picture

Many seniors I know are pulling their money out of the market since they fear fraud and losses. They avoid RE since we all know houses will sink at least another 20% according to Shiller. They moan at the 0.06% 'High Yield" in savings account but have little choice to guarantee enough to live on as times get tougher and they get older. Some find safety in gold and other PMs.

Soon the volume/market will be 100% algos.


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 20:39 | 2683286 chump666
chump666's picture

Asia will send it's reality check in a few hours, overbought ranges with no volume and HFTs supporting every MA on a daily...also on no volume = crash down to the central bank/s trading range.

This market is a c-hair away from a total flush out oblivion style.


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