"The selling that started yesterday afternoon continued today ... and once again, small-caps and tech were hit hard, while the more defensive areas held up better," said Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT, of today's trading, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decline for the second consecutive day -- the biggest two-day selloff since November. "Say what you want, but that isn't the normal mixture in a healthy market."
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Markets got hammered for the second straight day, with discouraging job market news helping prolong Wednesday's sell-off to send the Dow Jones Industrial Average down nearly 47 points, or 0.3%, to close at 13,880.62. Only nine of the 30 companies on the Dow advanced, led by computer maker Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), which climbed 2.4%. The 20 decliners were led by Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), which dropped 3.2%. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) finished unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also fell, dropping nearly 10 points, or 0.6%, to close at 1,502.42. The index did stay above the 1,500 mark for the 12th consecutive session, however, albeit by a hair, and it did breach the round-number level in intraday trading. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) fell nearly 33 points, or 1%, to finish at 3,131.49.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) continued its upward run for the second day, jumping 0.5 point, or nearly 3.7%, to close at 15.22, the first time the VIX has closed above 15 since Dec. 31.
A Trader's Take:
"What really caught my attention today was the action in the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)," Detrick said. "It spiked nearly 30% in two days on just a 2% pullback in the S&P 500 Index (SPX). Everyone was asking, 'where's the fear?' Well, all it took was a quick drop, and we saw a near-historical spike in the VIX relative to the sell-off."
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