Dow Retreats From Record High as "Fear Gauge" Rises

The Cboe Volatility Index logged its highest close in two weeks today

Assistant Editor
Aug 2, 2021 at 4:28 PM
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After spending most of the day higher, stocks retreated in the final hour to finish in the red on the first trading session of August. The Dow earlier nabbed a new intraday record high, but ultimately finished the session 97 points lower and has now ceded its year-to-date gain. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq both finished with modest losses, as more strong earnings were overshadowed by an increase in Covid-19 cases. Elsewhere, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), Wall Street's "fear gauge," added nearly 7% today to nab its highest close since July 19. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Carnival Cruise options are popular despite rising Covid-19 cases.
  • Why this solar stock is swimming in bull notes.
  • Plus, more on VXRT's big day; Square's billion-dollar acquisition; and Robinhood's market debut.

The Dow Jones Average (DJI - 34,838.16) fell 97.3 points, or 0.3% for the day. Of the 30 Dow components, Goldman Sachs (GS) was at the top, adding 0.9%, while Visa (V) landed at the bottom of the list with a 2.7% drop. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,387.16) shed 8.1 points, or 0.2% for the day. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 14,681.07) added 8.4 points, or 0.1%, for the day. 

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 19.46) added 1.2 point, or 6.7%, for the day. 

Closing summary 0802


  1. Following months of uneasy negotiation, Senators are setting up the passage of their bipartisan infrastructure bill. (CNBC)
  2. Many large companies are reassessing their mask policies in response to updated U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. (MarketWatch)
  3. Bull notes galore for Vaxart stock after a vaccine update.
  4. Square stock soared after its Afterpay acquisition. 
  5. More on Robinhood stock's mixed market debut.

Earnings 0802

UVOL August 2

Black Gold Snaps Win Streak

Oil prices snapped a three-day win streak today, falling in response to China's economic woes. According to new data, factory activity in the region grew at its slowest pace in 17 months, putting pressure on the second-largest oil consumer in the world. In response, September-dated crude fell $2.69, or 3.8%, to settle at $71.26 a barrel.

Gold prices, meanwhile, moved higher to start the week. A weaker U.S. dollar and rising bond yields helped bullion today, but a more risky appetite kept further gains in check. The most active contract, December-dated gold, added $5, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,822.20 an ounce. 


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