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Stocks slammed

After the open… All major indices are lower by 1% to 2% this morning, though there is no particularly clear catalyst for the selling. This is the era of instant momentum however, so the bearish direction is probably the cause of itself to some extent. It has also been a few months since the last market dip, and stocks probably need a good 10% drop-and-bounce in order to shake out the short-termers and revitalize the market.

Here are your Thursday morning market metrics. There are no industries in the green today, but Real Estate Management, Electric Utilities and Diversified Telecom are down the least, while Technology Hardware, Airlines and Diversified Consumer are down the most.

The VIX is up 16% to 15.41 after closing on Wednesday at 13.27. There is a huge amount of action in Apple (AAPL) options, with 26K September-26 100 calls and 20K September-26 100 puts changing hands. There are so many large blocks of September-26 options at or near this level that it is impossible to determine which are related. The put-call volume ratio is 1.06, (581,601/618,363). NYSE Adv/Dec 377/2,646. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 349/2,105.

Julian Close has been a business writer since the first day of the twenty-first century, having written for PRA International and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. He became a stockbroker in 1993, but now works for Fresh Brewed Media and uses his powers only for good. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC.

Julian Close

Julian Close became a stockbroker in 1995. In his 20 years of market experience, he has seen all market conditions and written about every aspect of investing. Julian has also written extensively on corporate best practices and even written reports for the United Nations. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC.