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Wages rise!

Stocks are pretty much flat this Friday morning as the market digests the December jobs report. The economy added 156,000 jobs in December, which was much lower than expected. Fortunately, wages grew by an astounding 0.4% on a month to month basis. On a year over year basis, wages grew by 2.9%, a remarkable rate of wage growth that the country hasn’t seen since June of 2009, when, if memory serves, it was in recession. It may not be the “magic bullet” that solves all our economic woes, but that extra 2.9% will be a big help to a lot of people, especially the 22 million who are about to lose their health insurance.

West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $53.78. At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.05%, the DJIA is up 0.03%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.25%.

Here are your Friday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include life sciences, building products, and internet software. Industries showing weakness include diversified telecom, real estate management, and construction materials. The VIX is down 3.25% to 11.29 after closing on Thursday at 11.67. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), with 8,000 January-13 218.5 puts and 4,000 January-13 224.5 puts on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.94 (237,299/223,927). NYSE Adv/Dec 1,261/1,523. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1,206/1,189.

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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.