America heads back to work, but the market is ready for a vacation


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After the Open... Indices are off to a flattish start today, in what is to be a short session ahead of the long Fourth of July weekend. The market received the official word on June job numbers from the U.S. Labor Department and the news was quite good. The economy added 288,000 jobs, well over the forecast 215,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1%, a number that is starting to look more "old normal" than "new normal." Finally, the number of long-term unemployed fell to 3.1 million.

After years of slow economic growth and poor job creation, it is striking that job creation would gain such strong momentum now, given the terribly rough first quarter in which the U.S. economy shrank by 2.9%. If economic growth proves to have been strong in the second quarter, one might conclude that the economy has passed through a healing crisis, and certainly, these should be expected during periods of extended recovery/deleveraging.

Here are your morning market metrics for today's dog* session. Industries doing well today include Machinery, Airlines and Insurance. Industries showing weakness include Electric Utilities, Multi-Utilities and Gas Utilities.

The VIX is down 3.14% to 10.48 after closing on Wednesday at 10.82. Bank of America ( BAC ) options are the most actively traded today, with 8,313 August 16 calls changing hands, and another 7,075 July 3 (weekly) 16 calls changing hands only hours ahead of their expiration. The put-call volume ratio is 0.83, (332,701/293,161). NYSE Adv/Dec 1,487/1,366. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1,417/848.

* Why is this a dog session? Because it is curtailed.

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 .

This article was originally published on

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Economy

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