When I was younger, I hated walking. It felt so inefficient and efficient at the same time. Inefficient because it was so slow. You want to get somewhere, you can get there faster by running. You want exercise, you can get your heart rate up faster running. Too efficient because our bodies are made to be able to walk for hours and hours. It doesn’t really make you that much hungrier, it doesn’t get your heart rate up - we can just keep walking.
A little older, hopefully a little wiser, I walk all the time now. Turns out, the fact that we can walk for hours without getting that much hungrier helps us maintain healthier weights. Walking is low stress on the body, but very restorative and healing. Our energy systems use walking to replenish themselves, it reduces stress, lowers blood pressure.
Slow days in the markets sometimes feel like walking. They still bother me a bit, but I don’t mind them as much as I used to. I actually find them a good reprieve after a few days of hearty volatility. We can use the time to make base hits, recover from the intensity of volatility, and prepare ourselves for the next periods of volatility. We can use the time to backtest patterns, learn new strategies, or adjacent strategies, and be in better overall shape when the next round of volatility hits.
Markets are a reflection of human psychology, we see this all the time with patterns, FOMO, stop runs and squeezes. That much is clear. But the consolidation is also a reflection of how we work. Needing a break after going full out. Restoring some equilibrium in our systems. And just like us, the market can do that minute to minute, and week to week.
So, when the days are slower, the trades are fewer, just remember, the market is catching its breath, returning to baseline, replenishing its energy systems, becoming more efficient, lowering its blood pressure, all so it can become volatile again.