Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Sleepy August

Trading is usually quiet in August, but this month has been particularly muted, in several different ways. The month is on pace to have the fourth narrowest August trading range, just 2.1 percent from top to bottom, since at least 1928, according to FBN Securities. The August range was only smaller in 1958, 1964, and 1965.

In the 17 trading days through last Thursday, the S&P 500 moved less than 0.75 percent between its daily high and low. That is the most consecutive days with such a narrow trading range in records that go back to 1970, according to at LPL Financial. The streak was broken on Friday when the S&P 500 swung a whopping 1.28 percent, but it began anew on Monday.

Fewer shares are also changing hands. New York Stock Exchange composite trading volume fell to 2.6 billion shares on Monday, its lowest level all year. That’s also about 38 percent of the volume on June 24, the highest volume trading day this year.

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