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For stocks, all up or all down is now the norm Add to ...

With 475 stocks within the S&P 500 in the red in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday, the index is on track to post what Bespoke Investment Group calls an "all of nothing" day -- defined as a day when 400 or more stocks are either up or down. The interesting thing is, these all-or-nothing days have become all to common in recent months after being exceedingly rare several years ago.

According to Bespoke, Wednesday's action marked the 59th such day in 2011, already exceeding the record of any other year. In all of 2008, there were 52 all-or-nothing days. Remarkably, 39 of this year's all-or-nothing days have occurred in the past 77 trading days (not including Thursday), meaning that these exceptional days have become the norm since the start of August.

At just past 2 p.m. (ET), the TSX is down 236 points while the Dow is down 177 points. The S&P 500 is down 21 points.

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