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Footprints in the Sand

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Where did everyone else go?

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Toddo mentioned something about the TICK earlier in Buzz & Banter. Today has seemingly been filled with programs on an otherwise dull trading day in the broader indices. There is no telling for sure via measures such as the TICK whether the volume is program-related or not, but with 50%+ of total NYSE volume regularly accounted for by programs, it's a pretty good bet.

The chart below is today's action in the NYSE TICK so far today. Note the extreme spikes that occur within a minute. This is not typical of steady buying by traditional players - it is a hallmark of programs hitting an otherwise thin tape. Be careful when trying to intraday trade with action like this, as the programs can turn on a dime, and since they account for so much volume now, they will carry the market where they see fit.

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