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Stocks up, but uncertainty remains

Stocks opened higher this Monday morning, then fell back to break even before recovering earlier gains. It is a morning that reflects well the general air of uncertainty that hung over the market last week. Oil prices dropped very slightly over the weekend, but there has been no recovery yet in interest rates. There’s not much action among big market names, though Ford (F) is up 1% this morning and US Steel (X) is down 0.25%.

West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $53.06. At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.41%, the DJIA is up 0.45%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.46%.

Here are your Monday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include internet & catalog retail, containers & packaging, and tobacco. Industries showing weakness include pharmaceuticals, multiline retail, and biotechnology. The VIX is down 3.5% to 15.41, after closing on Thursday at 15.96. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), with 5,231 April 233 puts on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.75 (301,430/225,995). The advancers/decliners ratio for the NYSE is 1,714/675 and for the NASDAQ, 1,293/639.

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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.