In a pleasant change from the recent trend, all major indices are all in the green this Thursday morning. The good news isn’t from the labor market, as Initial Claims rose by 10,000 last week, though the labor market remains tight. There is good news from Walmart (WMT) which is up 6.8% this morning after reporting better than expected earnings and big gains in online sales. Alas, not all retailers faired so well in the third quarter. Best Buy (BBY) is down 7% after reporting worse than expected sales and providing a poor holiday season forecast.
Industries doing well today include communications equipment, food & staples, and multiline retail. Industries showing the greatest weakness include oil & gas, electric utilities, and media. The VIX is down 7.5% to 12.15 after closing on Wednesday at 13.13. The most heavily traded options this morning are for Omnicom (OMC), with 8,482 December-15 70 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.79 (344,543/271,385). The advancers/decliners ratio for NYSE stocks is 1,996/823 while the advancers/decliners ratio for NASDAQ stocks is 2,141/605.