Dow Jones Industrial Average Pares Four-Digit Decline, Hits New Low

Dow Trims 1,000-Point Dive; VIX Hits 6-Year High

Aug 24, 2015 at 12:13 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) plunged nearly 1,100 points at the open -- hitting an annual low of 15,370.33 along the way -- but has since pared these losses to 232 points. The S&P 500 Index (SPX), meanwhile, was off triple digits at one point, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) plummeted to its lowest level since last October. Combining last week's drubbing -- the worst since 2011 -- and today's drop (preceded by the New York Stock Exchange invoking the rare "Rule 48"), all three major market indexes are sitting in correction territory. Elsewhere, with China stoking fear around the globe, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) hit a six-year high of 53.29 earlier.

 

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Among the stocks with notable option activity is Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), with the contracts crossing at two times the average intraday pace. Calls are outpacing puts by a 2-to-1 margin, and it looks like one trader opened a block of 16,760 weekly 9/4 16.50-strike calls for $0.21 apiece. The stock is off 1.5% at $15.86 -- and earlier hit an annual low of $14.60 -- despite some upbeat attention from the brokerage bunch.

 

One of the top losers on the Big Board is China-based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA). The e-commerce concern is down 2.1% at $66.74 -- after falling to a record low of $58, its first foray south of its IPO price to date.

 

One of the biggest decliners on the Nasdaq is Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER), down 13.2% to churn near $18.19. Just last week, the stock soared to all-time highs thanks to well-received drug data. The stock is now testing a foothold atop its 10-day moving average.

 

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The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 5.7 points, or 20.4%, at 33.76 -- and earlier hit a six-year peak of 53.29.

 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.90, with puts nearly tripling calls. More than 2.3 million SPY puts have changed hands today -- twice the intraday norm. At last check, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) was down 2.8 points, or 1.4% at $195.12, and on track for its lowest close since late October.

 

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