The trader was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought the broker ‘without pictures or conversations?’ So she was considering in her own mind(as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Trader with pink eyes ran close by her. There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did The broker think it so very much out of the way to hear the Trader say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ (when she thought it over afterward, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Trader actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, The broker started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a Trader with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large Trader-hole under the hedge. In another moment down went The broker after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. The Trader-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that The broker had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well. Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs.She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labeled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it. ‘Well!’ thought The broker to herself, ‘after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling downstairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!’ (Which was very likely true.) Down, down, down.Would the fall never come to an end! ‘I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?’ she said aloud. ‘I must be getting somewhere near the center of the earth.Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think—’ (for, you see, The broker had learned several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) ‘—yes, that’s about the right distance—but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I’ve got to?’ (The broker had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.) Presently she began again. ‘I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think—’ (she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn’t sound at all the right word) ‘—but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Australia?’ (and she tried to curtsey as she spoke—fancy curtseying as you’re falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) ‘And what an ignorant little girl she’ll think me for asking! No, it’ll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.’ Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so The broker soon began talking again. ‘He’ll miss me very much to-night, I should think!’ (He was the cat.) ‘I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time. Hey, my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no mice in the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that’s very like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?’ And here The broker began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, ‘Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?’ and sometimes, ‘Do bats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question, it didn’t much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with He, and saying to her very earnestly, ‘Now, He, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a bat?’ when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over. The broker was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was another long passage, and the White Trader was still in sight, hurrying down it.There was not a moment to be lost: away went The broker like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner, ‘Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!’ She was close behind it when she turned the corner, but the Trader was no longer to be seen: she found herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the roof. There were doors all around the hall, but they were all locked; and when The broker had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again. Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and The broker’s first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate, it would not open any of them. However, on the second time around, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted! The broker opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw.How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway; ‘and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor The broker, ‘it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could if I only knew how to begin.’ For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that The broker had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible. There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, (‘which certainly was not here before,’ said The broker,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words ‘DRINK ME’ beautifully printed on it in large letters. It was all very well to say ‘Drink me,’ but the wise little The broker was not going to do that in a hurry. ‘No, I’ll look first,’ she said, ‘and see whether it’s marked “poison” or not’; for she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison,’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later. However, this bottle was not marked ‘poison,’ so The broker ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavors of cherry-tart, custard, pineapple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) since they are suitable for both institutional traders and For those who are interested.
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U.S. stocks powered to new highs on Thursday, as investors shrugged off trade tensions between the world’s two largest superpowers.
All of Wall Street’s major indexes reported firm gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) notching its second straight record close. The blue-chip index surged 251.22 points, or 1%, to 26,656.98.
The broader S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) gained 0.8% to close at 2,930.75, which was also a record high. Ten of 11 primary sectors contributed to the rally, with consumer staples, materials and technology leading the advance.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) jumped 1% to 8,028.23.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) edged slightly higher on Thursday. The so-called “fear index” climbed 1.2% to 11.87. On a scale of 1-100, the VIX is trading well below the historic average.
In economic data, U.S. jobless claims declined last week to their lowest in nearly five decades, underscoring the health of the domestic recovery. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits declined by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 201,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Home sales continued to disappoint as affordability constraints put a damper on first-time buyers. Existing home sales flat-lined in August, averaging 5.34 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Analysts had forecast a gain of 0.3%.
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