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Wall Street winding down the year

Major indices are greenish this Wednesday morning, and it looks to be another relatively calm market day as is common in late December. More pipeline troubles, this time from Libya, have sent international oil prices to their highest level since mid-2014, briefly spiking above $60 per barrel on some markets. In stocks, the most volatility is coming from tiny companies that have added the word “blockchain” to their companies’ names. To watch such stocks rise is to realize that there must, beyond a doubt, be some complete fools out there who are about to be knocked for a lulu, but not necessarily to know who they are, or even if one may be among them.

At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.1%, the DJIA is up 0.03%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.2%. West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $59.75. Bitcoin is at $15,161 on Bitstamp.

Industries doing well today include semiconductors, tobacco, and energy equipment. Industries showing weakness include multiline retail, textiles, and personal products. The VIX is down 2.3% to 10.01 after closing on Tuesday at 10.25. The most heavily traded options this morning are for Comcast (CMCSA), with 8,244 February-16 40 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.79 (160,780/127,261). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,724/1,100 while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 1,841/900.

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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.