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Rate hike can’t cool Wall Street

Major indices opened in the green this morning after the Fed raised interest rates by one quarter of a point yesterday afternoon and confirmed that there would likely be two more hikes this year. Traders were fine with that, but due to weak oil prices and valuation worries, stocks are treading water at the moment. There was another great Initial Jobless Claims report this morning, showing initial claims down 2,000 from last week to 241K. Oracle (ORCL) is up 8% this morning, a huge move for this $190 billion company.

West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $48.72. At present, the S&P 500 is down 0.04%, the DJIA is up 0.08%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.01%.

Here are your Thursday-morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include software, banks, and capital markets. Industries showing weakness include life sciences, biotechnology, multi-utilities. The VIX is down 2.9% to 11.29 after closing on Wednesday at 11.63. The most heavily traded options this morning are for The Select Sector SPDR Trust – The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF), with 20,484 April-13 24.5 puts and 20,484 April-13 23.5 puts on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.96 (318,319/305,085). The advancers/decliners ratio for the NYSE is 1,675/839 and for the NASDAQ, 1,399/635.

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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.