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Markets opened strongly this morning and didn't slow down as the day progressed. SPX gained $31 to close at $1927 and RUT closed up $15 at $1011. Volatility continued to contract almost another two points with VIX closing at 22.3%. Trading volume was up with 3.1 billion shares of the S&P 500 trading. Trading on the NYSE increased 7% and trading on NASDAQ was up 9%.

The minutes from the last FOMC meeting were released this afternoon and traders were encouraged by the amount of discussion and concern about market volatility and uncertainty. Most analysts concluded that future interest rate hikes were at least deferred for several months.

A raft of economic data was released today. The PPI for January came in at +0.1%, up from December's -0.2%. Housing starts were down a bit in January at 1099k; December's starts were 1143k. Building permits were flat with 1202k in January and 1204k in December. Industrial production increased 0.9% in January, a big improvement from December's -0.7% decline. Capacity utilization was up slightly in January to 77.1%, from 76.4%.

This market has been so extremely emotional that it is hard to be confident that we are really out of the woods. Oil prices were up again today, but that could change in a flash with the report of the next rumor. As I have explained, the U.S. stock market should not be so tightly correlated to oil prices, but that realization is only slowly sinking in. The next two resistance levels to watch on SPX are $1940 and the 50 dma at $1961. Bulls have to take comfort that SPX has gapped open on both of the last two trading sessions - very bullish. But nervous Nellies like me worry that these increases may be too strong... I closed or rolled several of my Feb positions out to March just to give myself some breathing room in case something happens tomorrow. My Mar put spreads in the Flying With The Condorâ„¢ service are up 5% and I added the call spreads today to complete the March position.