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.
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.