The S&P 500 sagged over the last week before returning back near all-time highs.  The Dow Jones is back above 20K, and the Nasdaq is the most bullish of the major markets, having broken out to yet another new high.  Technology is the most bullish of all sectors at the moment with strength in the FANG stocks and semiconductor stocks primarily.  Materials and Energy have weakened, and financials (though still very strong) have softened just a bit with some apparent profit taking after a large run up.

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Market sentiment remains mildly bullish.  Economic news has been light, earnings have been mixed and are winding down, and there will be no pending Fed action until March. A quiet February provides cash flow opportunities for savvy options traders.  To learn how to create your own trading “paychecks”, join the latest Options Academy Online course which kicks off this month.  Get details here: http://www.optionsuniversity.com/options-academy-online/

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is in a tight trading range near extreme low levels.  Many analysts are predicting an increase in volatility, and such changes can happen rapidly, leading to huge profit opportunities. Did you know that you can trade options on volatility?  To learn more, click here:  http://www.optionsuniversity.com/options-online-classes/all-classes.php

OVERSEAS:  A lack of volatility is prevalent not just in U.S. markets, but in every major market in the world.  For the second day in a row, global markets have only moved fractionally.  Asian markets were mixed overnight, and European markets were up only slightly, but very broadly.

OIL:  Inventories for crude creeped up again near all-time highs, but gasoline stockpiles were slightly reduced.  OPEC follow through on production reductions are helping to keep oil prices above $50 despite the huge supply.  Many energy-related stocks have pulled back recently, however, both for drillers and oil services.  Want to learn from a commodities expert what will happen next?  To hear what Courtney Smith has to say about oil and other opportunities, click here:    http://www.optionsuniversity.com/tradesmith-video-newsletter/

JOBS:  The JOLTS job openings report shows that new job openings are still being created at a brisk pace.  For jobless claims, analysts expected a 4K increase in claims over last week, or a projection of 250K.  The actual number came in at only 234K, perhaps signally surprising strength in the jobs market.

BIOTECH INSIDER:  Most likely, 2016 was one of the most bizarre on record for markets.  But it’ll also be remembered as one of the most powerful with regards to mergers and acquisitions.  From the $26 billion buyout of LinkedIn to the $60 billion deal to take EMC private, deals were happening left and right.  In fact, corporate buyers shelled out some $1.7 trillion for U.S. and European mergers and acquisitions in the year.  That’s a near 8% jump year over year, and the largest ever recorded.  That trend may not be nearly over given that corporate cash now approaches $2 trillion.  Look at biotech and pharmaceutical companies for example.  About 17 of these companies are sitting on $220 billion in cash possibly ready to spend, which could easily happen if Donald Trump allows for the repatriation of offshore cash at lower tax rates.  Biotech expert Ian Cooper just uncovered what may be the next buyout target.  For more information on this hot pick, click here: http://optionswealthinsiders.com/biotechv2/

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