Low Stock Market Trading Volume | Cash & Unusual Trading Patterns

Low Trading Volume

Low Stock Market Trading Volume

There was an article out today in the FT about low stock market trading volume. I have heard this directly from prime brokerage firms, I've also heard that managers are holding more cash than usual, taking more cautious trading positions than usual. The exception to this seem to be those few funds which thrive during this type of market volatility, but as the index figures which published this morning show - most funds are working within negative territory for 2008. Here is the story:

Some of the steepest sell-offs and gains witnessed in an especially volatile few weeks for Wall Street could have been exacerbated by relatively low trading volumes as frightened hedge funds sat on the sidelines.

This decoupling of volume and volatility in equity markets is just another example of the reluctance of traders to speculate against a backdrop of uncertainty over the global banking system and economy, say analysts.On October 15, for example, when the S&P 500, Wall Street’s benchmark equity index, dropped 9.9 per cent, its largest one-day drop in more than 60 years, volume was only 11.5bn shares. This was the third lowest volume day that month, with only October 1 and 2, when the ban on short-selling financials was still in effect, having lower trading levels. Indeed volume was only 58 per cent of the record reported on October 10 when the S&P 500 fell just 1.2 per cent. Source

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