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Consumer spending accelerates

Major indices are mixed this Monday morning as we enter the second week of high-earnings season. The Commerce Department announced this morning that consumer spending rose by 1% in September, the largest single-month rise since 2009. Merck (MRK) is down 4.4% after reporting worse than expected earnings and withdrawing an application for approval of a key cancer drug in Europe.

West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $54.38. At present, the S&P 500 is down 0.13%, the DJIA is down 0.14%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.32%.

Here are your Monday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include technology hardware, energy equipment, independent power. Industries showing weakness include diversified consumer services, multiline retail, and auto components. The VIX is up 4.7% to 10.26 after closing on Friday at 9.8. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), with 29K December-29 263 calls and 29K December-29 268 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.69 (319,989/221,407). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE 1,261/1,594 stocks is while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 1,109/1,635.

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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.