As reported by WSJ’s Brendan Conway, dark-pool operator Liquidnet Holdings Inc.’s U.S. stock-trading volume gained in the first half of the year, as a calmer market and bigger block trades helped it buck an industry downtrend.
Liquidnet specializes in handling large, unwieldy stock trades for major financial institutions. Its figures are a contrast with the slowdown in trading volume seen on exchanges and at companies that depend on market volume.
Calmer markets mean fewer profit opportunities for the high-speed traders who are a strong presence on off-exchange venues. But unlike other dark pools, Liquidnet’s clientele of large, institutional investors usually increases activity when markets calm down.
Nor was Liquidnet much affected by the Citigroup Inc. (C) 1-for-10 reverse stock split, which robbed high-frequency traders of a significant money maker.