Still, traders noted was activity was particularly light during the session, as is typical for a Friday in August. Volume had been relatively high in the last few weeks on the flood of corporate quarterly reports, but had slowed down in the last two days. For Friday, NYSE Composite volume was about 5.1 billion shares, compared with average volume of about 6 billion this year.
"It's safe to say that after the Fed meeting, a lot of people took the rest of the week off," said Richard Gatto, an equities and derivatives trader with Meridian Equity Partners. (more)