Joe Cusick

Joe Cusick

Joseph Cusick is the Senior Vice President of Education and Senior Market Analyst for OptionsXpress. He and his team are responsible for creating education through in-house initiatives and third party partnerships. Joseph also seeks out technologically scalable educational pathways for self-directed investors of all experience levels, and has ramped up delivery of online and offline seminars to clients worldwide. Prior to serving in his current role, Mr. Cusick immersed himself in the broker side of optionsXpress by managing his own book of business. Prior to joining optionsXpress, Mr. Cusick served as a market marker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange and portfolio manager. Joseph is a graduate of Marquette University and holds his Series 4, 7 and 63 licenses with the NASD.

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Traders Bias Tested Into the Close

Market action has turned mixed in afternoon trading Tuesday.  After moving modestly lower at the open, market averages were higher midday on the heels of an in-line report on Consumer Confidence, which was to 79.7 for September, from 81.8 the month before. Treasury bonds ticked higher and the yield on the ten-year is down to […]

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Crude Cracks

Stock market averages moved higher through midday and are holding near session highs heading into the final half hour of trading Monday.  Strength across Asia’s equity markets, including a 2.5 percent rally in Japan, helped set the table for a steady open on Wall Street after a report showed China export growth of 7.2 percent […]

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Squeeze Ahead

Stock market averages finished with gains on a relatively slow day of trading Wednesday. Ford Motor (F) rallied 3.5 percent and seemed to help bolster investor sentiment after the automaker reported a 12.2 percent increase in August sales and also announced plans to boost production. Intel (INTC) advanced 2.6 percent and was the best gainer […]

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Is this the Best the Bulls Got?

Stock market averages edged higher through midday, but gave up most of the gains in afternoon trading Thursday. Economic data was in focus early after a report showed Gross Domestic Product improving at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter. Economists were expecting to see more tepid growth of 2.1 percent. Separately, Jobless […]

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Cusick’s Corner: Stocks Wobble on Worry

Stock market averages gave up modest midday gains and finished with losses Monday. Trading was a bit cautious early after European markets moved mostly lower to start the week and the only domestic economic stat of the day showed Durable Goods down 7.3 percent for July, which was worse than the -5 percent that was […]

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Choppy Waters

Cusick’s Corner Market action remains mixed late-Wednesday, as investors digest a barrage of quarterly earnings reports. The only economic stat of the day showed New Home Sales improving to an annual rate of 497,000 for June, which was up from 459,000 the month before and better than the 483,000 that was expected. Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) […]

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Energy and Finance Lead

Stock market averages moved higher through midday and trading is now mixed heading into the closing bell Thursday. United Healthcare (UNH) is up 6 percent and the best gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on the heels of its profit report. IBM is also up on earnings and helping the Dow forge new record […]

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S&P 500 and Dow Industrials Closed at Record Highs

Cusick’s Corner Stock market averages rallied at the open and are building on the gains in afternoon action Thursday. Soothing comments from Ben Bernanke yesterday afternoon seemed to help set the tone for steady trading early in the day. The head of the Federal Reserve said that “highly accommodative policy for the foreseeable future is […]

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European Concerns Inject Uncertainty but Equities Maintain Gains

Cusick’s Corner Stock market averages have erased early losses and are holding modest gains heading into the final hour of trading Wednesday. The underlying tone was cautious early after European markets moved broadly lower amid uncertain political elections in Portugal. There seem to be growing concerns that a political shake-up might thwart bailout efforts for […]

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Strength in Overseas Markets Helped Set Today’s Tone

Cusick’s Corner Stock market averages moved higher through midday and extended the gains in afternoon action Wednesday. Strength in overseas markets, including a 2.4 percent rally in Hong Kong and a 2.1 percent advance in France, seemed to help set the tone for steady trading at the open. On the domestic economic news front, a […]

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No Specific Catalysts for the Whippy Trading

Cusick’s Corner Stocks struggled to find direction and market averages finished mixed Monday. News that Standard &Poor’s upgraded Unites States’ credit rating to Stable, along with a 4.9 percent rally in Japan overnight, seemed to help set the tone for positive trading at the open. However, the Dow and NASDAQ both fell into the red […]

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Dow Closes at Record High – Again

Cusick’s Corner 5.28.13 Strength across most of Asia and Europe’s equity markets helped set the table for a strong open on Wall Street after a three-day Memorial Day weekend. Then, the advance gained steam mid-morning after the Conference Board reported that an index of Consumer Confidence jumped to 76.2 for May, from 68.1 a month […]

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Melt-Up Continues

Cusick’s Corner 5.15.13 Stock market averages finished with gains after a day of whippy trading Wednesday. The economic news was mostly disappointing after the NY Manufacturing Index for May slipped to -1.4, from 3.1 and below expectations of 3.5. The Producer Price Index [PPI] was down .7 percent in April and more than the -.5 […]

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Cusick’s Corner 5.8.13

Stock market averages moved higher through midday and traded in a narrow range in the afternoon session Wednesday. With no economic data due out until jobless claims tomorrow morning, some of the focus was on earnings. Dow component Disney (DIS) dropped early, but finished little changed after the company reported better than expected earnings per […]

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Stocks Rally on Encouraging Numbers

Cusick’s Corner Stock market averages scored solid gains on a busy day of economic and earnings news Thursday. A number of large caps, including GM, Facebook (FB), Visa (V), Seagate Tech (STX), and Prudential (PRU), were higher in the wake of their respective results. On the economic front, data released early showed jobless claims at […]

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Cusick’s Corner: Missing The Mark

Stock market averages suffered losses in rather volatile trading Wednesday. Weakness across the Eurozone and uninspiring earnings reports set the table for morning losses on Wall Street. Stock indexes moved broadly lower across the Eurozone, including 2.3 percent declines in France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX. Europe’s markets fell for a fourth day amid ongoing […]

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Cusick’s Corner: Gold Melting

Well, if you generally like to be a bear then you probably would have liked participating today in the precious metals markets — XME/GLD/SLV, and Miners, GDX. The bottom has dropped out in this space. It’s not a positive for the market at this stage, and deeper lows with this close look to be potentially […]

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Cusick’s Corner: VIX Not Confirming

We have seen quite the move to the upside this Midday, with the S&Ps right at the high of the day, 1584. I mentioned yesterday that the Small Caps, IWM, were lagging and that was a concern but overnight and into the Midday they have rebounded nicely and are leading at this point. The volumes […]

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Stocks Slide in All Sectors

Cusick’s Corner Stock market averages were lower through midday and suffered additional losses in afternoon trading Wednesday. The tone of trading was cautious early after ADP reported that the US economy added 158K private sector jobs in March, which was below expectations of 197K and the disappointing number comes ahead of key jobs data from […]

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FED Stays The Course

Cusick’s Corner Commentary by Joe Cusick – March 20, 2013 The Fed spoke, their perspective has not changed and into the close the overall market is grinding to new highs of the day. Home Builders, XHB, are really taking off today and that is a huge catalyst for the market. This segment has been a […]

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Rather Trade Than be a Weatherman

Cusick’s Corner – March 5, 2013 The bulls held control into the After Hours but it was not a slam dunk that would continue into tomorrow’s session. We did start to get some choppy trade, albeit at the third level of resistance, it still got choppy. I said that I was watching Energies, XLE, and […]

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Window Dressing

Cusick’s Corner 02-28-2013 After Hours The market continued to stay in a tight range today. The Dollar, UUP, closed up and Gold continues its slide. While sequestration will be the talk all night, the market seems to be shrugging it off. The month end trade is often called “window dressing” and this time the market […]

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Still Keeping the Powder Dry – After Hours

Cusick’s Corner 02-20-2013 Volatility, VIX, popped today, moving to make up most of the pullback over the last month, VIX +17.2%. This has most market participants on watch and some players (the weaker hands on the long side) might be taking profits in the highfliers. Bonds did bounce today off the overnight lows, so the […]

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Watch Michigan Sentiment After Hours

Cusick’s Corner 02-14-2013 After Hours It is expiration and we are going into a long weekend so right now no one is stretching, meaning there is no appetite to challenge the choppy, range-bound action. The Grains, JJG, did continue to track on the downside. Keep an eye on the softs, especially if there is a […]

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Bandwidth Shrinking After Hours 02-06-2013

Cusick’s Corner – After Hours The market continues to chop around 1500 on the S&Ps. While the bulls have the momentum at this juncture, we are getting to a stage where a consolidation or pullback could be healthy. Right now the market has not been able to break upside resistance, 1515 on the S&Ps. Getting […]

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Gold Bugs on the Watch

Cusick’s Corner Tuesday Jan. 15th While we will watch the earnings in the Financials, XLF, today the moves to watch were in the Transports, IYT, and the Metals, specifically Platinum. Now I mention the precious metals because Platinum has been moving to the upside, hitting price levels that we have not seen in months. Gold […]

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Where’s the Yellow Flag?

Cusick’s Corner, Thursday January 10, 2013. No one is waving the caution flag today. The market continues to exhibit strength but tomorrow could be the first true fundamental test when financial heavyweight Wells Fargo (WFC) reports earnings. Financials, XLF, have been the driver the last Quarter, and at this stage the options market is only […]

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Cancelling Sunday Dinner

Cusick’s Corner Commentary by Joe Cusick – December 27, 2012 We now have headlines that House will be meeting on Sunday at 6:30pm, so some traders might be cancelling those dinner plans that night. But let’s put some context to all this action. First, we need to look at the volume and it has been […]

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Perception vs. Reality

Joe Cusick, Friday December 7 Perception vs. Reality that is the type of market we have right now. This week was filled with headline risk of an impending “Fiscal Cliff” event but as the week progressed the economic data, in the US and China, was better than expected and the mic grabbers on capital hill, […]

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VIX Low, Tempers Reward

Cusick’s Corner by Joe Cusick, November 27, 2012 Still wrapped around the open — but the bonds did bounce into the close as comments from Senator Reid suggested that there has been little change in the fiscal discussions. The Energies did falter into the close while Crude did finish under the uptrend, $87.5, which has […]

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Stock Market Averages Relatively Unchanged Ahead of Holiday

          Market Recap Mid-day Wednesday, November 21. Stock market averages are little changed following a round of mixed economic data and amid light volumes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. According to the Labor Department, Jobless Claims declined by 41,000 to 410,000 last week, which was significantly better than the 423,000 that […]

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Stock Markets Slip into the Red

Cusick’s Corner 12:15 PM After the data this morning the market had every reason to take a charge to the upside but for one — the election. I pointed out yesterday and will say it again that there might be a lot of negative long-only managers and cash-only investors out there who are chomping at […]

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Something to Think About

Cusick’s Corner October 24, 2012. The Fed stays status quo on their stance, no surprise, and the longs that are in the market did not flinch into the announcement or the close and that was a little surprising. This is a tough trading climate right now and with the S&Ps right at the 1400 level, […]

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Mixed Session 10-18-2012 After Hours

Cusick’s Corner 10-18-2012 After Hours What if I were to say that GOOG- 8%, AAPL -1.86%, IBM -2.83% and the S&Ps -.38% – yes – only down .38%? I can tell you this, most of you would tell me that the market would be down big and you would be turning to bearish plays. This […]

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Where’s the Silver Lining? Cusick’s Corner

Cusick’s Corner Commentary by Joe Cusick – October 11, 2012 The market gave up most of the pop that we had on the open and equities continued to trade mixed. I mentioned the Semis last week and the bearish action continues with AMD as the latest chip maker to lower guidance for Q3 ahead of […]

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Article 5 – Cusick’s Corner

Cusick’s Corner Commentary by Joe Cusick – October 3, 2012 While the trade did not shift from the action at the midday, the Mideast is potentially heating up with reports that Turkey fired on Syria in response to an earlier shelling on a small boarder town. This could be nothing, the Crude markets are not […]

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Tight Range Continues

Cusick’s Corner The tight range continues into the Fed tomorrow but the overall trend continues to be owned by the Bulls. The Large and Small Caps, SPY & IWM, continue to run to new highs. Here’s a sector that has exhibited some impressive upside momentum — Housing, along with these two groups ITB & XHB, […]

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Tight Range and Advance Continues

Cusick’s Corner 08-15-2012 5:08 PM The grind continues in the equities, but Middle East headlines continue to catalyze the energy markets. Crude and Nat Gas have a supported bid and these were the two markets that were on my radar all day. If you have August positions, get them cleaned up tomorrow. Stocks finished mixed […]

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Looking at Potential Earnings Moves

Cusick’s Corner 08-07-2012 4:16 PM The market continued to chop around — wow, no insights there but the offensive sectors, XLE, XLY, XLI and XHB, were all up 2X the S&Ps which is supportive of the bullishness of the market. The Small Caps, IWM and RUT, were both breaking resistance, $80, which again is positive. […]

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Fed Watch 08-01-2012

Cusick’s Corner, Wednesday 08-01-2012 12:43pm CDT by Joe Cusick It looks as though many traders might be sitting on their hands, awaiting the FOMC statement. There is now pressure on the Fed; the statements last week have been a catalyst for the market, S&P’s +9%. Energy markets, XLE, continue to be catalyzed on multiple fronts […]

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Canary Still Chirping

Cusick’s Corner 07-23-2012 5:10 PM Today was a day best spent managing your shorts if you had them on and not chasing the markets after the open we saw today. The market needs to reestablish support above 1350 on the S&Ps if the bid is going to gain any further conviction. This action has to […]

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Financials Lagging

Cusick’s Corner 07-18-2012 1:03pmThe market continues to chug along and on the earnings front there have been some decent financial stocks beating estimates. Financials are one of those leading sectors that need to continue to lead but today this sector is lagging, XLF -14%, which is probably not what a bull wants to see. The […]

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The Risk Was to the Upside

Cusick’s Corner  1:00pm CDT As I noted last night, the risk is to the upside. The market, S&P +1.47%, is up across the board with Financials, (XLF +2.31%) leading the way and the beleaguered banks now over resistance, JPM is above the 50 moving average. I am taking this as a short term positive but […]

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The Risk Was to the Upside

Cusick’s Corner Frdiay, 7-13 1:00pm   As I noted last night, the risk is to the upside. The market, S&P +1.47%, is up across the board with Financials, (XLF +2.31%) leading the way and the beleaguered banks now over resistance, JPM is above the 50 moving average. I am taking this as a short term […]

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Nice Pop on Low Volume

Cusick’s Corner 07-02-2012 Today was a nice, pre-holiday, light-volume rally, and that is how I am looking at this latest move to the upside. The data, ISM, keeps coming this week, preventing me from trading with total conviction. It might seem like I am talking about more cautious trading before the holiday — well, I […]

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On to the Next Headline 06-28-2012

Cusick’s Corner 06-28-2012 "Buy the rumor, sell the news" — most scenarios that covered the health care law being upheld did not anticipate the market going down, especially the Health Care sector, XLV. So the decision is over, the market is down and now the EU is front and center. The Financials are under pressure, […]

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Waiting for EU

Cusick’s Corner 06-26-2012 1:21 PM Similar to yesterday’s commentary — there are a lot of wild cards at this stage (and I hate reiterating this point), the EU has to come out with some sort of big statement or move (doubt the later) to take some of this pressure off the market. And whether it’s […]

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Risk Still Off

Risk Still Off  Cusick’s Corner 06-13-2012   This is a market that has held up well in spite of mixed data and headlines every 30 seconds but there still is a sense of risk aversion at this stage. There is some interesting volume action in a few specific names — ZNGA is one of them […]

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Ugly by Joe Cusick June 1, 2012 3:15 PM

June 1, 2012 Cusick’s CornerYou can read about the Jobs data below and while it was not a horrible number, it was well below expectations, placing all the major indices under pressure. Right now, most indices and sectors are retracing about 38% of the October through May peak. You are also seeing the leading sectors, […]

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Market Recovers, Dollar Holds

Cusick’s Corner 05-09-2012 3:08 PM EDT I will be continuing to monitor the Euro Currency, FXE, as a flag of any continuation to the downside. Midday it has broken the lower tail of the recent downside action which at this stage is not great for the prognosis of a sustained upside move. This downward move […]

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ADP Poor – Cusick’s Corner

Cusick’s Corner 05-02-2012 1:46pm CDTThe data picture out of the EU overnight pushed the futures down, S&Ps below 1400, and the poor ADP out premarket put short-term pressure on the market. When numbers hit like this morning’s, the first places that I look for a reaction is in Commodities, DBC, JJC, JJG and Transports, IYT […]

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Quiet Expiration 4-20, Range-Bound

Cusick’s Corner 04-20-2012 Earnings have been solid and this was an orderly and quiet options expiration. With earnings continuing to be very solid, we will turn our attention next week to the Fed and AAPL earnings. So until these events are out in the open, this market seems to be in a consolidation, 1360-1390 on […]

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A Day at the Range Cusick’s Corner

Nice bounce into the Midday but not the conviction, i.e. light volume, that would show that this is a one and done pullback. We are now in a trading area called "no man’s land", an area that tennis players have heard before. This is where we do not know if we want to go long […]

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Trapped. Cusick’s Corner

Cusick’s Corner Trapped, that’s how longs in equities are feeling as we move into the Midday, and I want to see if this bounce off the lows is just another opportunity for the shorts to bang on the longs. With the commodity markets all pulling back, Oil, Grains, Gold, are in a mass liquidation. I […]

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Risk off, Really?

Cusick’s Corner I had a great piece of feedback last night from a reader who said that the “Risk is never off.” His comment was in reference to a subject line that we had, “Risk off Still Holding”. He is right, “Risk” is never off, but it can be mediated and the only way that […]

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Cusick’s Corner

The trade is quiet going into the Fed announcement and don’t forget that tomorrow the ECB will be meeting as well. Market players will be listening to Big Ben’s press conference to find out whether or not the Fed will extend the balance sheet, so watch the Gold action at if you hear him discuss […]

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Wait-and-See Action 09-21-2011 Posted

Cusick’s Corner The FOMC’s statement and action waits in the balance and the market in all asset classes has been tight and choppy. If the Fed announces a plan that is greater than the "Twist" program, you will see equities move but the Dollar, UUP, could get whacked and a weak buck is probably not […]

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Cusick’s Corner – Another Fat Finger Trade?

Cusick’s Corner With mixed economic data, Claims came in little worse than expected, the world’s largest CEO resigns, volatility is still high and the market bounced and pulled back after someone over in Europe decided it was a good time to cram the DAX (which will be known by tonight as the fat sausage finger […]

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Cusick’s Corner

This is frustrating, choppy action in the markets today and when they start acting like this you really want to keep your focus and patience on positioning. Gold traders, GLD, are the most frustrated, this market looks like it should just turn over but just has not turned south, and the bid keeps getting nibbled, […]

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Cusick’s Corner – Dollar Down, Market Up

Cusick’s Corner Thanks Uncle Ben. The Fed chief spoke and the market interpreted his comments as well, bullish (QE3?). You got to love expiration week, the week when anything can happen. Back when I was on the trading floor, during Expiration week we wanted risk tied up by Wednesday so that if we got a […]

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Cusick’s Corner

Stock market averages are holding gains despite mixed economic news Tuesday. The table was set for early gains on Wall Street after European stock indexes moved broadly higher on hopes Greece can avoid defaulting on its debt. There’s optimism that Greek parliament will adopt an unpopular austerity plan despite angry protests in the streets of […]

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Cusick’s Corner

We would like to welcome a new contributor to the CBOE Blog community, Joe Cusick. Joe is a Senior Vice President of Education and a Senior Market Analyst for OptionsXpress. You may have seen Joe on CNBC, Bloomberg or read his comments in BARRON’s or the WSJ, among other places. Joe’s trading experience goes way […]