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Market calm before the storm

Major indices are lower, but relatively close to breakeven this Thursday morning. Markets are cautious as traders attempt to guess where and how hard Hurricane Irma is going to hit the US. Traders are also watching that other force of nature, President Trump, attempting to discern whether long needed tax reform will be coming any time soon. Conventional wisdom this morning is that the chance for real tax relief is lower after Trump’s midnight deal with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling. GoPro (GPRO) is up 18% after announcing that it would achieve profitability in the third quarter.

West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $48.91. At present, the S&P 500 is down 0.11%, the DJIA is down 0.11%, and the NASDAQ is down 0.12%.

Here are your Thursday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include healthcare technologies, real estate management, and IT services. Industries showing weakness include insurance, automobiles, and trading companies. The VIX is down 0.4% to 11.58 after closing on Wednesday at 11.63. The most heavily traded options this morning are for Microsoft (MSFT), with 5,736 January-19 75 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.89 (265,281/234,881). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,401/1,426, while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 1,254/1,505.

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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.