Thursday, March 15, 2018

Last minute bidding on the New York Stock Exchange

The WSJ has the story (the url is better than the headline:

What’s the Biggest Trade on the New York Stock Exchange? The Last One
"The NYSE operates between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., but much of the action has moved to the final moments, thanks to index funds and others that flock to the day’s closing auction"
"Last year, 26% of all trading activity on the NYSE’s flagship exchange took place in the last trade of the day, up from 17% in 2012, exchange data shows. Last year, trades at the close accounted for more than 8% of trading volume in S&P 500 stocks, nearly four times what it was in 2004, according to Credit Suisse .

"While individual investors may follow the market through the day, especially in the past turbulent weeks, it is likely they own funds that track major stock indexes like the S&P 500 whose values depend on prices determined in the closing auction.

"In this auction, traders electronically send transaction orders to the NYSE, home to more than 2,000 companies that include such blue-chip names as Boeing Co. , Walt Disney Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. The exchange’s computers match the millions of buy and sell orders, with human traders on the NYSE floor sometimes stepping in to help.

"At least $10 billion worth of shares are traded in the NYSE’s closing auction on an average day, with a final tally of stock prices typically listed by 4:05 p.m.

The “close,” as traders call it, has grown in importance as investors pour into index-mutual funds and other vehicles that passively track various stock-market indexes, including exchange-traded funds, or ETFs. "

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