VIX Spikes as Stocks Stay Lower with Apple

Disappointing economic data and spiking Treasury yields could also be to blame for today's losses

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 29, 2018 at 12:05 PM

Stocks are pulling back, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) dropping more than 160 points at its intraday low -- pressured by Apple's (AAPL) iPhone X production concerns ahead of Thursday night's earnings report. Plus, despite strong earnings from Lockheed Martin (LMT) and big M&A news in Keurig Green Mountain's purchase of Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS), investors are focusing instead on this morning's poorly received economic data and a surge in the 10-year Treasury yield, which broke to a three-year high above 2.7% earlier. Against this backdrop, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) have joined the Dow in negative territory, while the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is pacing for its biggest one-day gain since Sept. 5.

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

  • 2 FAANG stocks at record highs before earnings.
  • Analysts take aim at Alibaba stock.
  • Plus, options traders eye big earnings move for one Dow stock; Editas stays hot; and a sinking Chinese stock.

midday market stats january 29

One stock seeing unusual options activity today is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), as traders target the blue chip before earnings on Wednesday. Calls are crossing at two times the expected pace, and notable action is occurring at the weekly 2/2 100-strike call, where buy-to-open activity looks likely. These bulls would be wagering on MSFT stock rallying atop $100 by week's end, when the contracts expire. Not only does this represent record-high territory for the security, but also upside of 6.4% from its current perch near $93.95.

One of the best Nasdaq stocks today is gene editing specialist Editas Medicine Inc (NASDAQ:EDIT). The shares have surged 13.5% today at $40.80, and while there's no specific news behind the move, the equity has been making a series of higher lows and highs since June. EDIT stock earlier hit an annual high of $40.50, and now sports a year-to-date gain of 31.7%.

One big Nasdaq loser is Chinese gaming issue Inc (NASDAQ:SOHU), after the company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and a weak sales outlook. SOHU stock was last seen down 15.9% at $38.95, extending the weakness that's plagued it since it peaked above $70 in October. The shares are now testing the $40 level, right near their year-over-year breakeven level.

sohu stock price

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