Stocks off their lows, but still ugly

After the open… A confluence of bad news hit jittery investors hard on Wednesday morning. US retail sales fell in September when they were expected to rise, some morning earning reports, including one from Bank of America (BAC) were uninspiring, and the Greek stock market is in free fall. The S&P 500 is down 1%.

Perhaps weighing more heavily on the markets, however, were three pieces of bad news pertaining to everyone's current obsession, Ebola. A second health worker who treated Thomas Duncan in Dallas has tested positive for the disease, the World Health Organization projects that the number of new cases might spike to 10,000 each week, and the UN has declared that the world has just six months to contain Ebola before… well, they didn't exactly say, but something bad, to be sure.  

Here are your Wednesday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include Airlines, Paper & Forest Products and Energy Equipment. Industries showing weakness include Independent Power, Thrifts/Mortgage Finance and Software.

The VIX is 10.7% to 25.25 after closing on Tuesday at 22.79. The most active option strike this morning is Bank of America (BAC), with 3,670 November 16 calls changing hands, apparently initiated as sells. The put-call volume ratio is 1.33, (636,673/848,652) That's even higher than yesterday's volume. NYSE Adv/Dec 1,083/1,986. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 943/1,534. 

Julian Close has been a business writer since the first day of the twenty-first century, having written for PRA International and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. He became a stockbroker in 1993, but now works for Fresh Brewed Media and uses his powers only for good. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC.

Julian Close

Julian Close

Julian Close became a stockbroker in 1995. In his 20 years of market experience, he has seen all market conditions and written about every aspect of investing. Julian has also written extensively on corporate best practices and even written reports for the United Nations. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC.

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