Combine a Friday with nerves ahead of Tuesday's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, and you'll get the lowest trading volume since the third of July. With 30 minutes left in the week, 924 million shares have changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange; 607 million have crossed the tape on the Nasdaq.
Meanwhile, the major market averages are mixed but close to the break-even mark, and close advance/decline ratios reflect this backdrop. The NYSE is seeing 1,652 advancers compared with 1,580 decliners, equaling an advance/decline ratio of 1.05. At the Nasdaq, the 1,378 advancers are being barely outdone by 1,468 decliners. The advance/decline ratio on the tech-rich index weighs in at 0.94.
In keeping with recent trends, new lows have the better of new highs on both the Big Board and the Nasdaq. At the NYSE, there have been 58 new highs achieved today along with 72 new lows; the Nasdaq has seen 44 new highs and 90 new lows.
Hitting today's new-high lists are McDonald's (MCD), First Data (FDC), eBay (EBAY), and Wynn Reports (WYNN). Among the stocks with the dubious new-low distinction are Nortel Networks (NT), Progressive (PGR), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), and Knight Capital Group (NITE).