Market Is on the Straight and (Very) Narrow

 | Sep 19, 2017 | 4:23 PM EDT
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The most noteworthy event of the day was that the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) traded in an intraday range of 0.19%, the narrowest intraday range ever. That is remarkable, but it sure doesn't make for very interesting trading.

The good news is that there was some decent movement again in individual stocks. The new highs piled up again and breadth was about 500 net positive. Biotechnology was the leader again, but the hot action narrowed quite a bit.

Tomorrow we have the Federal Open Market Committee interest rate decision, which may spark some movement, but according to Bespoke the average movement on the last 10 Fed days is zero. There have been a few days where we had a little movement, but overall the market has done nothing on the news. Market players tend to anticipate a "sell the news" event that simply hasn't happened.

With such a limited range in the S&P 500 and so little reaction to the Fed, there isn't much of an edge but, ironically, the lack of any real movement tends to drive negative predictions. The thinking seems to be that if the market isn't moving much, that means it's ready to go down.

That logic doesn't work well, but it is understandable that traders want to make a big call when nothing much is going on. You have to wonder how this diminished volatility will eventually be resolved, but there isn't much we can do about that today. Let's hope the Fed will liven things up a bit, but I'm not too optimistic about that.

Have a good evening. I'll see you tomorrow.

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