The new year began this morning with a rumble, as everyone knew it would, as bulls from corners near and far are waking up and trying their legs on a new track—one free of the smothering over taxation many have come to expect. The guess here is that there may be a real boon to be seen in small and mid-sized companies (i.e. the ones not posting record profits anyway) and that that boon will make its way into Wall Street’s pockets soon enough. The new year comes with a rising price of oil and fierce opinions but no consensus, about the sustainability of the same. JC Penney (JCP) is up 4%.
Industries doing well today multiline retail, healthcare equipment, and life sciences tools. Industries showing weakness include electric utilities, multi-utilities, and household products. The VIX is flat at 10.18. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), with 8,705 March-16 puts on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.77 (322,972/247,551). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,962/827 while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 2,011/873.