... a handful of banks, most specifically Goldman Sachs, constitute the majority of NYSE trading volume... This "back and forth trade" between a handful of institutions is nothing more than the old "pump and dump" game that has been played in the OTC market forever - and almost always screws the individual investor.
This is no different than you and I selling a house back and forth between us repeatedly, each time at a higher price. We both appear to be geniuses as we're both making a "profit", right?
Well, no. One of us is destined to take a horrifying loss if we do not find a sucker to make the final transaction with.
I wondered what was keeping it all up. And sooner or later...
P.S. Rob Kirby strongly suspects that similar manipulation is going on in oil and gold - one kept up, the other down. (For an update on the latter, click on the goldcam.)