Major indices are in the green this Tuesday morning, and they rarely get any greener than this. Leading the pack is the Dow 30, up nearly 1% and crashing through 26,000, officially making this the shortest time it has ever taken the index to rise by an increment of 1,000. The price of oil has now remained in the mid-sixty dollar range for nearly a week. Many of the biggest name stocks are up as much as 2% today, but one that deserves a special call out is Merck (MRK), up 7.8% after some very good early clinical trial results for its drug Keytruda, which, as part of a cocktail, appeared to stop the advancement of lung cancer. Good job, guys!
Industries doing well today include pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and internet/catalog retail. Industries showing weakness include independent power, healthcare technology, and industrial conglomerates. The VIX is up 6.3% to 10.80 after closing on Friday at 10.16. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM), 62,875 March-16 51 calls and 62,855 March-16 53 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.58 (700,734/405,815). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,884/1,046 while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 1,979/969.