They opened it too high again and there was no reason to do so. Who are these buyers of the futures who come in on quicksand? Who are the people who can't resist buying when stocks are running and run from stocks when they are down?
We have, for lack of a better term, what acts to be a "broken" market - both ways - because the volume is so thin.
It's almost if the stock market of yore where it took a lot of volume either way to move a stock has just vanished. Big capitalization stocks are plummeting on what would normally not even budge them.
Case in point: Federal Express (FDX) . Now a very important executive of the company, David Cunningham, someone who ran FedEx Express, a huge division, retired today effective year end. The news is shocking as we are at the height of holiday season when FedEx is at its busiest. It's not a good sign for the quarter. So it was right that the stock opened lower. But what mystified me is that the stock was down four and a half dollars on less than 200,000 shares. I would have expected that about two million shares would have traded. To put this in perspective, in the old old days the stock would have been halted for news, there would be an order imbalance, and it would not trade until a real level was established, one the represented the collective buying and selling power of this tape. Instead there's some weird dynamic that takes a $50 billion stock down on nothing and then it proceeds to dribble even lower again on little volume until it gets to down $12 where it finally trades more than two million shares.
I can't stress to you how important this lack of volume is. There just aren't a lot of individual buyers and sellers of stocks. The pricing is irrational and often driven by fast trading ETFs that include, in this case, FedEx.
Now there is a propensity for some wags to say: "Cramer, that's all well and good, where were you when the stock market was going higher." That's just nonsense. I have been complaining about a lack of volume for ages and I didn't' like it when stocks went up on it - as was the case this very morning - and I don't like it when they go down on it.
But short of putting limits on individual trading of stocks, it's here to stay and there's not much we can do about it. You can't make up players, you can't suddenly demand people step up and buy.
Right now what we seem to have are index fund buyers of stock and corporate buyers against ETF sellers and regular sellers. The common stock buyer seems to have disappeared. Where did they go?
I think they have been abused and discouraged and the actively managed funds are losing assets so they are in withdrawal mode.
It's amazing, and it is behind the volatility and the exaggeration of every move including those like today's trading.