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The slide in oil prices paused today, or bounced if you are an optimist. Many analysts attribute the market bounce to that hope of a bottoming of oil prices. SPX gained $10 to close at $2022, but RUT continues to be more negative, closing down $8 at $1116. Volatility pulled back almost two points with the VIX closing at 22.7%. Trading volume rose with 2.9 billion shares of the S&P 500 stocks trading. Trading volume rose 8% on the NYSE but dropped 2% on NASDAQ.

Have we now entered the waiting period for the FOMC announcement on Wednesday? Maybe.

Has the recent sell-off been principally driven by the prospects of slower economic growth, evidenced by lower demand for oil? I am inclined to think so. But part of the sell-off could be anticipation of a rate hike by the Fed this week.

That leaves us with the $64,000 question (how many of you remember that TV show?): how will the market react to a rate hike or possibly continuation of the current near-zero interest rates? I have more questions than answers. This is a spooky market, so limit your risk. Don't bet on a direction.