Stocks Get Crushed; Dow Falls 665 Points as VIX Skyrockets

The VIX notched its highest close since the November 2016 presidential election

Josh Selway
Feb 2, 2018 at 4:32 PM
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The U.S. stock market suffered a major pullback today, as this morning's nonfarm payrolls report, which topped expectations, suggested another rate hike is on the way when the Fed meets next month -- though San Francisco Fed President John Williams said the central bank shouldn't have a "knee-jerk reaction" to strong economic data. Nevertheless, the Dow shed more than 650 points -- as Apple (AAPL) entered correction territory -- marking the biggest one-day percentage loss since Brexit. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 Index weren't saved from the sell-off, either, with all three indexes suffering their worst weekly losses in two years. The VIX, meanwhile, exploded higher, with the stock market's "fear gauge" grabbing its highest daily close since the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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

The losses piled up for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,520.96) as the day wore on, with the index settling near session lows, down 665.75 points, or 2.5%. Not a single Dow component closed higher. The biggest losers were Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX), which fell 5.1% and 5.6%, respectively. The Dow surrendered 4.1% this week.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX -  2,762.13) dropped 59.9 points, or 2.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,240.95) gave back 144.9 points, or 2%. The indexes had respective weekly losses of 3.9% and 3.5%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 17.31) jumped 3.8 points, or 28.5% -- its biggest one-day gain since August. For the week, the VIX added 56.2%.

Closing Indexes Summary Feb 2

NYSE and Nasdaq Feb 2

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Another big storyline today was the release of a controversial Republican memo that some say suggests the FBI was biased against President Donald Trump. Congressional Democracts are fighting back, insisting the information was cherry-picked. The FBI was against the release of the document. (Reuters)
  2. Equities weren't the only assets moving lower today. Bitcoin also got crushed, falling below $8,000 for the first time since November. Digital currencies have continued to struggle as talk of potential government regulation has increased. (USA Today)
  3. A look back at FAANG earnings.
  4. Nokia stock continues to crush its skeptics.
  5. Despite strong price action today, resistance remains for this wireless carrier.

Corporate Earnings Feb 2

Unusual Options Activity Feb 2

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Breaks Two-Session Losing Streak

Oil prices also fell today. March-dated crude futures were down 35 cents, or 0.5%, at $65.45 per barrel by the close. For the week, oil fell 1%.

Gold prices also took a roughly 1% weekly loss. In today's trading alone, gold for April delivery gave back $10.60, or 0.8%, to end at $1,337.30 per ounce, as the dollar strengthened in the wake of this morning's jobs report.


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