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Stocks climb as merger talk lifts spirits

After the open… Alcoa (AA) reports its first quarter numbers after the bell today, making this the official unofficial beginning of earnings season. Traders are in a good mood after Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) made a $70 billion bid to buy rival BG Group, and there appears to be credible chatter about a possible Twitter (TWTR) buyout. Fed minutes will also be released today.

The S&P 500 is currently up 0.35%, the DJIA is up 0.41% and NASDAQ is up 0.57%.

Here are your Wednesday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include Airlines, Internet/Catalog Retail and Multiline Retail. Industries showing weakness include Construction Materials, Gas Utilities and Diversified Telecom.

The VIX is down 3.2% to 14.31after closing on Tuesday at 14.78. The most active strikes are for AIG (AIG), with 42,985 January 60 calls and 42,985 January-20 60 calls changing hands. The total put-call volume ratio as of 10:00 AM is 91, (228,139/206,641). NYSE Adv/Dec 1,884/1,010. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1,580/856. 

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.

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.