Tuesday: One Of Least Volatile, Quietest Days Ever

Tuesday:  One Of Least Volatile, Quietest Days Ever

Quietest Days of Stock Indexes by David Merkel, CFA of the Aleph Blog.

There was one time when I was writing for RealMoney when none of the three main indexes (S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC)) moved much on a given day, and so posted on it to show how rare it was.  One fellow e-mailed me be saying, “You have too much  time on your hands.”

Maybe so, but on 6/10/2014, it was even more quiet.  It was the 11th most quiescent day for the indexes since the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was created in February 1971.  Here’s a list of quietest days:

Date Least Volatile Nasdaq S&P500 DJIA
11/12/2012 1 -0.021% 0.013% -0.002%
12/27/1977 2 0.019% 0.000% -0.020%
8/20/2012 3 -0.012% -0.002% -0.027%
6/14/1989 4 -0.022% -0.025% -0.004%
12/2/2011 5 0.028% -0.024% -0.005%
8/26/2009 6 0.010% 0.012% 0.044%
10/11/2010 7 0.017% 0.015% 0.035%
3/16/1993 8 0.037% -0.013% 0.016%
5/31/1979 9 0.023% -0.030% 0.021%
11/2/1984 10 0.000% -0.042% -0.035%
6/10/2014 11 0.041% -0.025% 0.017%

There’s no rhyme or reason to this list.  Quiet days are unique, and as far as this list goes, are a once in four years occurrence.  Still, it’s fun to think about quiet days, and wonder why we have trading at all.  We may as well have had a vacation day.

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David J. Merkel, CFA, FSA — 2010-present, I am working on setting up my own equity asset management shop, tentatively called Aleph Investments. It is possible that I might do a joint venture with someone else if we can do more together than separately. From 2008-2010, I was the Chief Economist and Director of Research of Finacorp Securities. I did a many things for Finacorp, mainly research and analysis on a wide variety of fixed income and equity securities, and trading strategies. Until 2007, I was a senior investment analyst at Hovde Capital, responsible for analysis and valuation of investment opportunities for the FIP funds, particularly of companies in the insurance industry. I also managed the internal profit sharing and charitable endowment monies of the firm. From 2003-2007, I was a leading commentator at the investment website RealMoney.com. Back in 2003, after several years of correspondence, James Cramer invited me to write for the site, and I wrote for RealMoney on equity and bond portfolio management, macroeconomics, derivatives, quantitative strategies, insurance issues, corporate governance, etc. My specialty is looking at the interlinkages in the markets in order to understand individual markets better. I no longer contribute to RealMoney; I scaled it back because my work duties have gotten larger, and I began this blog to develop a distinct voice with a wider distribution. After three-plus year of operation, I believe I have achieved that. Prior to joining Hovde in 2003, I managed corporate bonds for Dwight Asset Management. In 1998, I joined the Mount Washington Investment Group as the Mortgage Bond and Asset Liability manager after working with Provident Mutual, AIG and Pacific Standard Life. My background as a life actuary has given me a different perspective on investing. How do you earn money without taking undue risk? How do you convey ideas about investing while showing a proper level of uncertainty on the likelihood of success? How do the various markets fit together, telling us us a broader story than any single piece? These are the themes that I will deal with in this blog. I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University. In my spare time, I take care of our eight children with my wonderful wife Ruth.
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