Over at zero hedge there is a blog entry that talked about the pump and dump of the SPY. That pump and dump is not just on the SPY, but also on the QQQQ and a number of other stocks. I suggest you look at my image referenced by the link, which is a screen shot of my desktop.

What you should notice is that there are these huge honking bars at the end of the day. I noticed these bars and thought, “you know what I am want to take part of this action.” After all if the bar jumps so high I could short it because within the split moment it falls back to the close.

Thus I put out two live full block orders to short and go long a certain percentage above and below the market. My thinking is that I would get filled and make instant money. I might not be able to fill that much, but hey an extra couple of thousand a day would do me quite fine.

A week later I noticed something weird in that I was never filled. I always seemed to miss those orders. And thus I thought, what gives? What am I missing?

The pattern is that the high and low of the bars is that they don’t exceed the high or low of the day. And that had me perplexed. Why on earth would those values not be exceeded? What if there is more to this than meets the eye?

WHAT if these trades are in fact trades that occurred, but not when you think they did? It hit me that maybe these are dark pool trades. Dark pools are avenues of liquidity where the order books are hidden and the trades are published, but at the discretion of the dark pool. Though they have to publish the numbers, and it makes me wonder if this volume is nothing more than dark pools showing their past trades.

This has the ramification of something that I have been talking about all the time, namely that you can’t count on volume anymore. Look at the volume that happens at the end of the day or in after hours? It can be very large. And what if the dark pool plays games in that sometimes it shows the numbers live, and sometimes not? You can’t rely on numbers.

Though get back to zero hedge. It gets a bit tedious when zero hedge always sees the conspiracy… Maybe if they thought about things a bit more there might even be other answers…