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Soft landing?

After the open… After a gruesome week, stocks began the session more than 5% off their highs. After rising initially, stocks are again being hit with selling pressure, and the S&P 500 is down another 0.3%, bringing it close to the psychological threshold of 1900, though interestingly, advancers lead decliners on both the NYSE and the NASDAQ. In what will come as better news for many, West Texas Intermediate crude oil is still trading at less than $85 per barrel, and the Saudis have reportedly conceded that as there is little they can do to drive the price back up, they will not production in an effort to do so.

In terms of actual news, there is a bit of a lull today, as there are no economic reports and no earnings reports to speak of. A second Ebola case in Dallas is significant, as an American has now contracted Ebola on American soil. There is no question that Ebola jitters are affecting the market, but there seems to be every reason to believe the Dallas outbreak is fully contained.

Here are your Monday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include Road & Rail, Metals & Mining and Electric Utilities. Industries showing weakness include Airlines Biotechnology and Internet/Catalog Retail.

The VIX is up 1.1% to 21.48 after closing on Friday at 21.24. The most active option strike this morning is Bank of America (BAC), with 19,223 October 17 puts changing hands. The put-call volume ratio is 1.87, (418,565/783,108). NYSE Adv/Dec 1,649/1,230. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1,249/1,096. 

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.