VIX Briefly Tops 50 in Wild Trading

Stocks have been volatile following Monday's historic sell-off

by Emma Duncan

Published on Feb 6, 2018 at 12:11 PM

It's been a wild ride for U.S. stocks today. Following its worst session ever, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was down almost 570 points at its intraday low, but has since swung to a modest gain. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) have also been volatile, but were last seen pacing for a fourth straight down day. Meanwhile, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) -- or the stock market's "fear gauge" -- earlier topped 50 for the first time since August 2015, but has since cooled its jets to trade just south of breakeven.

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

  • What to expect after a Dow bloodbath.
  • The volatility headwinds rattling Credit Suisse stock.
  • Plus, Union Pacific's unusual options volume; and the optical product maker topping the NYSE.

Midday Market Stats Feb 6

Among the stocks with unusual options volume today is freight traffic company Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP), with more than 500,000 calls traded -- 88 times what's typically seen during the day. The catalyst is unclear, but most of the action can be attributed to a $21.7 million call spread at the January 2019 140- and 160-strike calls, per Trade-Alert. At last check, UNP was trading up 2% at $126.49.

The top performer on the New York Stock Exchange today is optical product concern Fabrinet (NYSE:FN). Shares of FN are surging after the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings beat prior guidance. At last check, Fabrinet stock was up 27% at $30.47, and set to topple its 50-day moving average for the first time since August.

One of the worst performers on the Nasdaq today is drug concern GW Pharmaceuticals Plc (NASDAQ:GWPH), after the company late yesterday reported a weaker-than-expected fiscal first-quarter earnings. The news sent GWPH stock gapping 9% lower to trade at $120.74, at last check. The stock touched a fresh high of $143.37 on Jan 29.

Daily Chart of GWPH Feb 2017


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