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Market calm — maybe too calm

If you like recent stock-market trends, you may be unhappy with the news this Thursday morning, as a great many such trends went into reverse. Since the close of Wednesday’s session, the price of oil has fallen, bond rates have climbed, steel company stocks have risen, and there were slightly more initial claims than predicted in the weekly jobless report. US Steel (X), is up 3% today, apparently due to rising confidence that the US will finally act to punish China for selling us cheap steel. Also, eBay (EBAY) is down 3.8% after an uninspiring earnings report.

West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $50.40. At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.30%, the DJIA is up 0.31%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.48%.

Here are your Thursday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include road & rail, consumer finance, and auto components. Industries showing weakness include tobacco and trading companies. The VIX is down 1.2% to 14.75, after closing on Wednesday at 14.93. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE), with 17,373 June 70 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.95 (277,694/262,434). The advancers/decliners ratio for the NYSE is 1,530/755 and for the NASDAQ, 1,423/480.

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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.