I'm wondering how much of the low volatility and intraday chop has to do with higher listed spreads, and the new habit of trading outside the quoted spread by the NYSE floor. Basically what I've been seeing is wider spreads and a lack of direction, with the occasional break from massive short-covering or selling longs from people who are trying to trade the chop range. And we all know that specialists can really pillage a sideways market far more than a trending market. They just tread water in a trend... We all know that the spec firms are bleeding out the ass lately, and let's take a look at LAB. I was actually going to post a thread saying "Let's buy out LaBranche" after they came out with those terrible earnings in the postmarket and the stock got killed in the afterhours and traded down to ~15.50 from ~18.50. Well, less than a week later LAB rebounded strongly and touched 19, an apparent re-assurance that the NYSE business model is safe and sound. Which brings me to the point of this thread. I think that alot of the overall market chop has a lot to do with the newer trading habits of the NYSE floor. I guess I'm saying that the floor may have a bigger role in facilitating these directionless intraday markets... Anyone agree/disagree??