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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Stocks end day after nice, sensible, reasonable rally

UPDATED at 4:29 p.m.

Now, that's more like it.

Stocks closed up today -- not outrageously up, not irrationally up, just healthily up -- across all three major indexes.

The Dow closed up eight-tenths of 1 percent at 10,392.90.

The broader S&P 500 closed up nearly seven-tenths of 1 percent at 1,106.75.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed up seven-tenths of 1 percent at 2,241.71.

The VIX, or Volatility Index (or Fear Index) has been declining nicely over the past week, as you can see here.

Unless you're a trader and you're abitraging the VIX, you don't like wild swings in the market. For your average retail investor -- me and you -- what good does a 2 percent surge in the Dow on one day do you if it's followed by a 2 percent decline the next?

Stocks open mixed

9:50 a.m.: Stocks are mixed this morning following sour news about new jobless claims and wholesale inflation.

In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is just above water.

The broader S&P 500 is just into negative territory and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down two-tenths of 1 percent.

New jobless claims rose more than expected last week, as did wholesale prices. The Producer Price Index is a predictor of tomorrow's Consumer Price Index -- the price you pay for goods at the store. We'll talk more about inflation later today.

Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

By Frank Ahrens  |  February 18, 2010; 4:29 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker , Wall Street  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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