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Actionable news in QQQ: PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1,

Trading volume slows sharply even as stock market hits highs

Daily trading volume well under already low July averages

A sleepy trading summer is getting sleepier.

Summer trading volume has gone from a slowdown to more of a near halt even as stock-market benchmarks fitfully carve out records.

Following some of the slowest trading of the year over the past few sessions, Tuesday volume improved fractionally. On Tuesday, 2.94 billion shares exchanged hands on the New York Stock Exchange, compared with a month-to-date daily average of 2.91 billion shares and a daily average of 3.48 billion shares for the year to date, according to Dow Jones data.

On Monday, 2.76 billion shares changed hands on the NYSE. That was just slightly better than Friday’s woeful action, which represented the lowest volume day of the year at 2.71 billion shares, according to Dow Jones data.

On the Nasdaq, 1.73 billion shares traded on Tuesday, compared with a month-to-date average of 1.68 billion for July and the year-to-date average of...