Adieu, Individual Investor

 | Dec 24, 2012 | 11:01 AM EST
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I always used to look forward to the slow trading around holidays because there would always be some speculative action in a small group of stocks. Traders would focus on the hot action and make it self-fulfilling to a degree. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing much of that all today.

There is almost nothing moving and I don't even see any junky small-caps attracting attention. 

This morning I noticed a story that I believe explains this to some degree. According to Business Insider, CNBC is seeing its lowest ratings since 2005 and some shows have a decline in ratings as much as 30%. "Closing Bell" is having its lowest-rated year ever.

I believe the decline is simply a function of individual investors losing interest in the market and that is the same thing that is preventing the typical holiday trading for developing. We just don't have enough small traders interested in speculative trading.

It isn't hard to find an explanation as to why. Stock picking just doesn't matter that much. We are driven mainly by central bankers, politics and foreign news. Making money in the stock market is viewed as something only the top 2% can do and they are selfish and greedy and don't pay enough in taxes.

I'm hopeful that we'll eventually return to a market where the action is driven by stocks and their individual merits, but today isn't going to be the day.

I'm doing very little and don't expect I'll be adding much before the close.

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volatility is quite low here, and we could see some downsides here in the short term. ...



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