Stocks finished Thursday mixed on light volume after paring losses from earlier in the session. Essentially, it is more of the same old tape as buyers showed signs of fatigue and have had a hard time making much headway to the upside. Even the falling U.S. dollar, after posting gains for the past two days, could not provide any real support to stocks. Investors seemed to be zoned in on the elections next week and QE2. That said, there has not been any extreme selling pressure either. Managers are staying long in their positions and the shorts are reluctant to get aggressive.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 16.57 points, or 15%, to close at 11,109. The S&P 500 gained 1.22 points, or 0.10%, to close at 1183, and the Nasdaq was up 4.11 points, or 0.16%, to finish at 2507.

The CBOE Volatility IndexI:VIX closed up $0.17, at $20.88. VIX put volume of 32,000 contracts compared to call volume of 112,000, with December and January 45 calls as the most active strikes. At-the-money implied volatility has slowly decreased this week, suggesting traders are pricing in less risk. VIX has resistance at its 50-day moving average of $22.33.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) - Get Report closed up $0.02, at $118.40, with overall put volume of 1.17 million contracts trading as compared to call volume of 751,000. October (W) 117 puts were the most active strike, trading 83,200 contracts. November put option implied volatility is at 21 and December is at 22 versus its 26-week average of 23.

PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQQ) volatility is also lower with traders taking the "trend is your friend" positions as tech stocks momentum ticks higher. The Qs closed up $0.08, at $52.27, on overall put volume of 245,000 contracts compared to call volume of 140,000, with October (W) 52 puts active on 35,300 contracts.

There are a number of important economic data expected to be released on Friday including: GDP and Employment Cost Index due out at 8:30 a.m. EDT, Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m. EDT, Consumer Sentiment at 9:55 a.m. EDT and Farm Prices at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

The following notable companies are reporting before the bell tomorrow: AB, ACI, AGP, AON, ASX, CEG, CI, CMC, COL, CVX, EIX, EL, HTC, IPG, ITT, MRK, NDAQ, NWL, OB, SNE, TOT, WBC, WPPGY, WY.

Looking ahead, week ending November 5 is filled with catalysts that will certainly overshadow the Q3 earnings season. Important events that will affect trading include: 1) Elections on Tuesday, November 2; 2) FOMC Tuesday-Wednesday November 2-3; 3) ECB/BOE on Thursday November 4 and; 4) October monthly economic data reports throughout the week.

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