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Interest rates rise, but retail sales soar

Major indices are in the green this Thursday, following yesterday’s expected increase in short-term interest rates by the Federal Reserve. In economic news, Retail sales rose 0.8% in November while weekly initial unemployment claims fell by 11,000. Details on the Disney (DIS) Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) deal have been announced, and it looks likeDisney CEO Robert Iger will remain on until 2020 and will not be succeeded by one of Rupert Murdoch’s sons.

At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.13%, the DJIA is up 0.18%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.16%. West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $56.53 (so much for that broken pipeline). Bitcoin is at $16,242 on Bitstamp.

Industries doing well today include leisure products, healthcare providers, and road & rail. Industries showing weakness include construction & engineering, diversified telecom, and biotechnology. The VIX is down 0.35% to 9.83 after closing on Wednesday at 10.18. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY), with 23,143 December-22 267 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.63 (305,309/192,444). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,422/1,426 while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 1,478/1,241.

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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.