Today On Wall Street: Horrible Volume, Layoff News, And Another Flash Crash

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Today was a depressing day on Wall Street.

First, volume was horrible. 

SPY volume of 128 million compares to a three-month average of 212 million. Horrendous.

This lack of activity is obviously a source of consternation for trade-hungry brokerages.

Then on the employment front it emerged that Morgan Stanley is in the midst of a hiring freeze. John Carney at CNBC reports an imminent “fixed-income bloodbath”.

Then there was a flash crash today. Progress Energy fell from over $40 to around $4 in a few minutes (before recovering). It’s just one stock, but it confirmed that the post May 6 circuit breakers don’t work as advertised — another blow to confidence in the financial markets.

Of course, the major indices fell too, but really that was the least of the problems for the industry.

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