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Fed decision day

At 2:00 PM today, the market will learn of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, and there is very little suspense. It is assumed the Fed will raise rates today, as Fed Chair Yellen and other Fed officers have strongly telegraphed. If traders are at all concerned that higher rates might slow down the current market surge, you would never guess it from this morning’s trading. Major indices are in the green, as is oil. A trio of pharmaceutical stocks are lighting up the board this morning, including Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA), up 11.9%, Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX), up 26%, and Cerulean Pharma (CERU), up 44%.

West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $48.39. At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.23%, the DJIA is up 0.17%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.04%.

Here are your Wednesday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include diversified consumer services, life sciences tools, and independent power. Industries showing weakness include consumer finance, construction materials, and multiline retail. The VIX is down 2.6% to 11.97 after closing on Tuesday at 12.3. The most heavily traded options this morning are for The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), with 6,760 March 233 puts on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.93 (198,017/184,722). The advancers/decliners ratio for the NYSE is 1,942/568 and for the NASDAQ, 1,356/731.

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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.