It has been a wild and whacky day with huge volume across all asset classes. But it could have been worse. The S&P 500 index had a range of 54-points (-2.8%) and closed with a loss of 20-points (-1.06%). NYSE composite volume ran up to 944-million shares. The chart below compares volume patterns since the September 19 market peak, when volume in the last half hour surged to 1.4-billion shares, with today’s volume. During the past 12-months volume has averaged 547-million shares per day.
Option activity on the SPDR S&P 500 Trust (Ticker: SPY) ran up to 7.4-million contracts, of which 5.4 million lots were put options. The CBOE Vix index closed at 26.25 but not before touching 31.0 earlier in the day. The composite put/call index supported the bearish tone, closing at 1.26 and lower than Monday’s 1.41.
Chart – Peak and trough volume