Is it laughable, or lamentable? The market, that is. In the past few years, it has become a joke…a tool of manipulation, an unreliable source of information. Despite the outperformance of the US equity markets this year, ordinary investors (presumably people with savings they would like to invest in productive and attractive businesses) are not interested.
Reuters columnist Felix Salmon recently posted a few charts to highlight this trend. This one, originally appearing at ZeroHedge, shows the decline in trading volumes since the credit bubble bust in 2007/08.
Using the Monday after Thanksgiving as the comparison date (the first day of trade after the 2-day Thanksgiving holiday) trade volumes in 2012 are back to 1997 levels. So while you’re being told a recovery is underway, it’s clearly not a recovery in investor confidence or involvement in the stock market.
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