Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Suffer Worst Defeats Since September

2 Monster Options Trades on the Financial Sector

Mar 21, 2017 at 4:25 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) tumbled triple digits for its worst daily percentage loss since Sept. 13, amid a brutal day for bank stocks. Specifically, financial shares slid on worries that President Donald Trump's tax reform and deregulation efforts will be delayed. Turning elsewhere, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) was even worse off than the Dow -- falling the most since Sept. 9, despite touching a record intraday high of 5,928.06 in early trading -- while the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) dropped into negative year-to-date territory, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) logged its biggest loss since Oct. 11. Also, Fed officials continued to attract attention, with Kansas City Fed President Esther George saying she currently sees an opportunity to remove some stimulus measures.

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

  • Options traders placed monster bets on these 2 financial names.
  • An "improving macroeconomic environment" has created a post-election boon for this real estate stock.
  • Option bulls foresee even higher highs for this emerging markets ETF.
  • Plus, 2 retailers near key levels; a rare VIX signal; and making the bullish case for WYNN stock.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 20,668.01) plunged 237.9 points, or 1.1%, with just two of its 30 components ending higher -- Coca-Cola and Chevron, up 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively. Among the 28 losers, Goldman Sachs was the worst, surrendering 3.7% of its value.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,344.02) shed 29.5 points, or 1.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,793.83) tumbled 107.7 points, or 1.8%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.47) surged 1.1 points, or roughly 10%, for its highest close since March 1.

closing indexes summary march 21
NYSE and Nasdaq Stats march 21

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. During his Senate confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch vowed he wouldn't be a "rubber stamp." Gorsuch added, "I have no difficulty ruling against or for any party, other than based on what the law and the facts of a particular case require." (FOX News)
  2. Amazon.com will expand a program to eliminate counterfeit products from its site. However, Peter Faricy, vice president of Amazon Marketplace, warned that such efforts will require ongoing modifications. "I don't think it's the kind of thing where you ever feel like there's a clear ending," Faricy explained. (Reuters)
  3. 2 retail stocks nearing critical levels.
  4. The VIX signal flashing for the first time in a decade.
  5. Time to bet bullishly on Wynn Resorts stock?

corporate earnings march 21

unusual options activity march 21
Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities

Oil prices settled at a nearly four-month low, ahead of an expected build in U.S. crude inventories. Specifically, April-dated crude futures -- which expired today -- lost 88 cents, or 1.8%, to close at $47.34 per barrel. Crude for May delivery closed down 67 cents, or 1.4%, at $48.24 per barrel.

Gold jumped as the dollar fell, as expectations of another near-term Fed rate hike waned. At the close, gold for April delivery had added $12.50, or 1%, at $1,246.50 per ounce -- the malleable metal's fourth consecutive daily win.

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