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Oil prices whipsawed

Major indices are mixed this Tuesday morning after a failure of the North Sea pipeline caused oil prices to rise, though not nearly as sharply or convincingly as oil bulls might have hoped. In just breaking news, oil’s price gains appear to have vanished—stay tuned for more. Gold is trending downward, having fallen nearly 5% since the end of November, from $1,299 to $1,238. Comcast (CMCSA) is up 2.41%, no doubt due to the anticipated demise of net-neutrality laws. (Don’t worry about the loss of net neutrality; once it is gone, you’ll be routed to plenty of content that tells you why you are better off without it!)

At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.10%, the DJIA is up 0.38%, and the NASDAQ is down 0.02%. West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $57.86. Bitcoin is at $16,900 on Bitstamp.

Industries doing well today include diversified telecom, metals & mining, and pharmaceuticals. Industries showing weakness include leisure products, semiconductors, and biotechnology. The VIX is up 3.1% to 9.63 after closing on Monday at 9.34. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), with 4,985 December-22 154 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.85 (234,002/199,827). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,577/1,258 while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 1,595/1,156.

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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.