Dow Pulls Back After Hitting Record High; Win Streak in Jeopardy

Even with stocks lower, the VIX is on pace for its lowest close in nearly two months

Managing Editor
Sep 21, 2017 at 12:17 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is lower at midday, pulling back as markets digest the Fed's plans to shrink its balance sheet, as well as hints of an additional rate hike in December. In addition, Apple stock is once again reeling, pacing for its worst week since June. While the Dow touched a record intraday high earlier, its seventh straight record close and nine-session winning streak could end.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are also in the red, bogged down by slipping tech stocks. Nevertheless, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) -- Wall Street's "fear gauge" -- is extending its retreat south of the 10 level, on pace for its lowest close in nearly two months.

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

  • 2 energy names set to lose steam, if history repeats.
  • GM stock's surge could be spooking shorts.
  • Plus, FOLD's FDA nod fuels crazy options volume; NVDA stock feels competitor pressure; and the drilling stock set to snap an eight-day win streak.

Midday Market Stats Sept 21

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is biotech Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD), with 14,000 options traded -- seven times the average intraday volume, and pacing for the highest percentile of its annual range. It looks like one trader issued a long strangle by purchasing 2,500 April 14 puts and April 15 calls, and helped fund the position by selling to open an equal amount of April 11 puts. FOLD stock is up 6% to trade at $15.87 -- and just hit a two-year high of $16.05 -- after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted "orphan designation" status to its Pompe disease drug.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) stock is down 3% at $180.26, among the worst stocks on the S&P 500 today, after a report that Tesla will partner with NVDA rival Advanced Micro Devices on self-driving car technology. NVDA stock touched a record high of $191.20 on Monday, and has tacked on 178% year-over-year. In fact, NVDA has emerged as the best S&P stock of the past six months -- which could translate into a window-dressing tailwind next week. It's previous pullbacks have been contained by its 60-day moving average.

Midday Market Chart NVDA Sept 21

Transocean Ltd (NYSE:RIG) is among the biggest losers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, down 6.8% at $9.10, after a Chevron unit terminated its contract with the offshore driller earlier than expected. RIG stock fell to a record low of $7.20 on Aug. 18, but since then has gained 26%, and yesterday ended higher for an eighth straight day. 


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