Dow Jones Industrial Average Drops 366; Tech Slump Sinks Nasdaq

Tech Takes a Beating; Plus, GoPro's Big Deal

Feb 8, 2016 at 12:11 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are deep in the red at midday, amid continuing losses in tech stocks and crude futures. In fact, March-dated crude oil was last seen off 2% at $30.26 a barrel, after exploring territory south of $30 earlier this morning. Financials are also getting hit today, but a mass flight to safety has gold futures flirting with seven-month highs.

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is among stocks with unusual option volume at midday. The stock was halted for pending news, after the company reportedly hired restructuring attorneys.  However, CHK claims it currently has "no plans to pursue bankruptcy." Last seen 24.2% lower at $2.32 -- and fresh off a 16-year low of $1.50 -- the shares are now sitting on a 50% loss for 2016, and have landed firmly on the short-sale restricted list. As such, CHK options are crossing the tape at three times their usual intraday clip, with puts significantly outnumbering calls. 

Among a rather short list of big winners today is Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AUY), up 13.5% at $2.60, and bringing its year-to-date lead up to nearly 40%, thanks to a rally in gold stocks and a price-target hike from BMO. The stock is just one of several gold interests garnering bullish attention from the brokerage this morning, as the malleable metal is enjoying a strong rally. Specifically, April gold futures are up 3% at $1,195.40 an ounce, as risk-averse traders abandon stocks for the "safe haven" commodity.


Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is among the worst performers on the Nasdaq so far today, dropping 6.3% to trade at $152.31, after hitting a new two-year low of $150.35. Options action is heating up on the stock, as traders await the company's fourth-quarter earnings report -- due this Wednesday after the close -- and after Credit Suisse cut its 2017 earnings forecasts.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 3.4 points, or 14.4%, at 26.74.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.82, with puts outnumbering calls nearly 2-to-1. In fact, SPY put volume is running at 1.3 times the average intraday pace. SPY was last seen down 4.2 points, or 2.2%, at $183.78.

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