“Dark Pools” – private exchanges – now account for more than 40% of total stock trading volume on some days, according to the SEC. Since the private exchanges don’t allow HFT, this means that when you subtract the HFT activity, there is little left in the public markets – essentially some subset of retail transactions, I presume. Most “real money” trading has left the public exchanges – chased away by the HFT thieves. Which would certainly account for their total disconnection from reality. In the meantime, the HFT buzzards buy the order flow from retail brokers and feast on it.
Message: don’t trade unless you absolutely must. Every trade is an open invitation for the HFT thieves to pick your pocket. Your broker and the exchange share in the proceeds. As does the SEC, which collects its (tiny) slice of every transaction to fund its porn habit.