8/9/12 3:55 PM – The Calm Before the Storm

Another quiet, low volume day of trading today and the stock market has been basically flat all day. The Nasdaq Composite and the Russell 200 small stock index have managed a little bit of gains. Bonds are also flat.

Gold is up aboug 0.3% and oil is up 0.2%. Oil just keeps moving up, probably on worries over Iran. Israel seems to be getting itchy to do something pretty soon about Iran’s nuclear program and of course the US is dragging its heels, talking about sanctions. Tell me, when did sanctions ever get the job done in any country?

Natural gas was up 3.5% today, the best thing on the screen.

Pressure seems to have eased on the short squeeze of all those short the Euro currency. That buying was due to the expectations of something tangible from the European Central Bank but no real news is coming out there, either. But, there are enough powder kegs out there that this flat line will not stay flat for long. Lots of traders and execs may be on vacation but if you’ve ever seen a shot of a home office in a Wall Streeter’s home in the Hamptons you know that they are not far out of touch. Plus, big moves often occur on low volume.