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Stocks Surviving $100 Oil, So Far

How much stock damage from $100 oil? Pretty modest, so far. Very encouraging action this morning as $100 oil is not preventing a modest move up in stocks; all the major indices are up, advancing stocks outnumber declining stocks by better than two to one.

The Volatility Index (VIX) is back below 20, and the Arms Index (TRIN), which measures the amount of volume going to stocks that are up versus stocks that are down--is bullish at 0.9.

The damage? So far, pretty modest. The S&P 500 is only 2.3 percent below its recent closing high of 1,343 on February 18.

The Cleveland Cavaliers of commodities. Natural gas stocks weak again today: what's up? While the market — and most energy stocks — move into positive territory, natural gas stocks are again lagging. The entire energy complex was notably weak yesterday despite higher oil prices on concerns that high energy prices might crush the early economic recovery we are seeing.

But nat gas and its stocks have problems that are very unique to them. "In the world of commodities, natural gas remains the Cleveland Cavaliers," one energy trader wrote to me this morning. "Can't find any long-term buyers."

What's the problem? Too much supply vs demand, and the price has reflected that: while oil has soared, nat gas prices have gone nowhere for two years. One of the few commodities with bearish fundamentals.

Meanwhile, while I struggle to understand global stock markets, this...I know...is what matters and is what is really being passed around on trading desks: Charlie Sheen's Battle for Twitter Supremacy: Can He Surpass Lady Gaga?

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