Stocks Stay Lower, VIX Jumps as Oil Prices Weigh

Target's disappointing holiday outlook is also adding to the risk-off approach from investors

Nov 15, 2017 at 12:09 PM
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It's another risk-off session for U.S. stocks, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dipping almost 167 points at its session low. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also lower at the halfway point, though the latter index has rebounded hard off its morning lows. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) -- or the stock market's "fear gauge" -- earlier peaked above 14.50, into territory not charted since Aug. 21.

Stock markets around the globe have been rattled by a sharp decline in oil prices, with December crude futures last seen down 0.7% at $55.30 per barrel, following a second straight weekly increase in U.S. oil supplies. For U.S. indexes specifically, the ugly holiday forecast from retailer Target (TGT) is also adding to the bearish bias. Meanwhile, investors are weighing the latest inflation data, as well as a revised tax plan from Senate Republicans, which includes increasing the child tax credit and a repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate.

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

  • Analyst: New highs ahead after this big biotech breakthrough.
  • The hedge fund ditching Snap stock
  • Plus, call buyers hit GE stock; an engineering stock to watch; and a sinking solar stock.

midday market stats nov 15

Among the stocks with unusual options volume once again is General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). Call and put volume are both accelerated today, as shares of the Dow component bounce after touching fresh multi-year lows yesterday, last seen up 2.4% at $18.33. On the call side, the November 18 call and the weekly 12/29 18-strike call are both active, with potential buy-to-open activity at each. The most popular put is the November 17.50 strike, where new positions are being initiated, though it's not clear if it's buying or selling.

One of the top stocks on the New York Stock Exchange is engineering services provider Engility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:EGL). The shares have added 6.5% today to trade at $28.54, thanks to an upgrade to "buy" from "hold" at Noble Capital. This comes just a few sessions after EGL stock gapped lower on a disappointing earnings report.

Over on the Nasdaq, JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JASO) is one of the worst performing equities, down 11.7% at $7.09, falling below the formerly supportive 50-day moving average as a result. Not only did the company this morning announce earnings that were below estimates, but it offered words of caution on upcoming trade cases and global solar demand. Still, JASO stock remains up 48.5% on a year-to-date basis.

jaso stock


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