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Dow Dips as Apple Set for Worst Week in More Than a Year

Even with stocks pulling back, the VIX is on pace for its lowest weekly close in two months

Managing Editor
Sep 22, 2017 at 12:15 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is slightly lower at midday, as markets digest another nuclear bomb threat from North Korea, and reports that the country's next nuclear test could include a hydrogen bomb into the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, healthcare stocks are in the red, and Apple stock continues to sink, even with today's iPhone 8 launch, on track for its worst weekly loss since April 2016.

Nevertheless, the Dow is on track for a second straight weekly gain. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are also in the red, though both indexes are pacing for weekly losses. Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) -- Wall Street's "fear gauge" -- is moving higher, but remains below the key 10 level, set for its lowest weekly close since July 21.

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

  • The drug stock getting demolished today.
  • 2 retail stocks moving on earnings.
  • Plus, spiking put volume for Community Health stock; L Brands stock edges higher; and the steel stock stuck in a sector slump.

Midday Market Stats Sept 22

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is hospital stock Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH), with 5,900 puts traded -- 15 times the average intraday volume, and pacing for the 98th percentile of its annual range. It looks like the January 4 put is attracting the majority of the attention, with 4,500 contracts exchanged, and buy-to-open activity suspected. CYH stock is down 1.1% to trade at $7.20, with a Senate hearing on the latest Republican healthcare bill slated for next week.

L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) stock is up 2.4% at $37.78, among the best stocks on the S&P 500 today, though the stock has yet to recover its losses stemming from a downgrade at Cowen and Company earlier in the week. LB stock has shed 42% year-to-date, with recent rebound attempts stalling at its 50-day moving average.

Midday Market Chart LB Sept 22

AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) is among the biggest losers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, down 4% at $5.31. The steel stock is likely dealing with the fallout from yesterday's news of a rise in global crude steel output in August, causing a sector-wide slump in steel stocks. AKS stock has shed 47% year-to-date, led lower by its 10- and 20-week moving averages.

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