Dow Closes Volatile Session With Big Gains

Despite its early surge, the VIX actually closed lower

Feb 6, 2018 at 4:27 PM
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Stock volatility was the story again today on Wall Street, with the Dow trading in a more than 1,100-point range. The VIX also saw whipsaw action, briefly topping the 50 handle for the first time since August 2015, as leveraged volatility ETNs -- which many believe exacerbated the stock market sell-off -- remained in focus. Buyers returned in a big way in the final hour of trading, however, helping the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all close with huge daily wins, and the latter two indexes move back into positive territory for the year. In fact, it was the Dow's biggest one-day percentage gain since January 2016.

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

Despite facing huge early losses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,912.77) ended with a 567-point, or 2.3%, win, closing near session highs after a strong final hour of trading. All but four of the 30 Dow components closed with gains, lead by DowDuPont's (DWDP) 6% rise. Merck (MRK) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) both shed 1.7% to pace the losers.

The price action was similar for the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,695.14) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,115.88). The former index closed up 46.2 points, or 1.7%, and the latter gained 148.3 points, or 2.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 29.98) gave back its early gains to settle down 7.3 points, or 19.7% -- its biggest percentage drop since August.

Closing Indexes Summary Feb6

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Feb 6

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton today said today the regulating body may need to ask Congress to pass laws for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Clayton added that the SEC has already talked about the matter with the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve. (Reuters)
  2. In a meeting today President Donald Trump told the press he'd "love to see a [government] shutdown" if Democrats don't back his immigration plans. This comes despite the fact that Congressional leaders from both parties earlier said they were close on a budget agreement. (The Hill)
  3. Apple stock is testing a key moving average.
  4. Technical resistance could keep a lid on this airline stock.
  5. An inside look at the record-breaking options activity on the VIX in recent days.

Corporate Earnings Feb 6

Unusual Options Activity Feb 6

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Breaks Two-Session Losing Streak

Oil prices took another hit today after the Energy Information Administration raised its outlook for U.S. crude production over the next two years. Crude for March delivery ended down 76 cents, or 1.2%, at $63.39 per barrel -- the lowest settlement in almost three weeks.

Despite the volatility in stocks, gold prices fell for a third straight day. April-dated gold futures dropped $7, or 0.5%, to end at $1,329.50 per ounce.


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