Trump Woes Level Dow Jones Industrial Average; VIX Spikes

Dow Dives, VIX Soars; 'Buy the Dips' on This Stock

by Karee Venema

Published on May 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is spiraling, as reports that President Donald Trump may have obstructed justice -- based on leaked memos from former FBI Director James Comey -- rattle the stock market. Specifically, stocks are reacting to concerns that Trump's legislative agenda will possibly take a back seat to the political drama in D.C. -- which some speculate could lead to impeachment -- with the Dow down more than 200 points, and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) retreating from record highs. This risk-off backdrop has traders rushing toward safe-haven assets, with June-dated gold futures up 1.9% at $1,259.90 an ounce. Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has surged almost 23% to trade near levels not seen since before the French election relief rally in late April.

Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

  • Analyst: "Buy the dips" on this Dow stock.
  • While Target shares are hot post-earnings, this fellow retail stock is fresh off a new low.
  • Plus, EXPR options traders brace for a volatility crush; AMD stock sells off; and the stock popping on sale news.

midday market stats may 17

Among the names with unusual options activity is retailer Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR). More than 35,000 puts have traded -- 35 times the expected intraday rate, and a new annual high -- compared to zero calls. Almost all of the action has centered at the June 7 put, and if it's similar to Tuesday's activity, new positions are being sold to open. With Express earnings due the morning of June 1 and EXPR stock's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility in the 98th annual percentile, it's likely put sellers are hoping for a post-earnings volatility crush. EXPR stock was last seen trading down 1.9% at $7.79, fresh off a record low of $7.76.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) is the biggest decliner on the S&P, after the chipmaker failed to comment on an expected licensing deal with Intel. Pouring salt on the wound is a downgrade to "hold" from "buy" at Loop Capital. After AMD stock rallied ahead of its analyst day yesterday, it was last seen down 8.3% at $11.69 and back below its 120-day moving average.

amd stock price chart may 17

Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) is one of the leading advancers on the SPX, after CEO Ian Cook said he'd be open to selling the consumer products giant for $100 a share. CL stock is trading up 2.8% at $73.63, at last check.

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