Major equity indices are mixed at mid morning as early optimism seems to have faded somewhat. Factory orders declined by 1.4% in January, more than the 1.3% decline that analysts had expected. The market is still focused on trade talks, as when and how President Trump’s proposed levies on metals imports seems to remain in flux.
At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.21%, the DJIA is up 0.03%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.55%.
Industries doing well today include Trading Companies & Distributors, Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment, and Metals & Mining. Industries showing weakness include Multiline Retail, Multi-Utilities, and Electric Utilities. The VIX is down 0.11 to 18.62 after closing yesterday at 18.73. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the iShares iBoxx $ High Yid Corp Bond ETF (HYG), with 11,003 Mar. 16 86 puts on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.70 (220,735/314,616). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,714/1,153, while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 1,628/1,175.