Stocks Crater Amid Trade War Tensions, Tech Sell-Off

The VIX closed above 20 for the first time since March 1

Managing Editor
Mar 22, 2018 at 4:27 PM
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The Dow finished deep in the red today, as snowballing trade war concerns sent the blue-chip index more than 700 points lower -- its worst loss since Feb. 8. The panic-selling was fueled by President Trump's $60 billion in tariffs on China -- the "first of many" -- with Boeing (BA) stock among the biggest Dow losers amid renewed concerns about Chinese retaliation. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq joined the Dow in the red, as another Facebook-induced tech slide added salt to the market's proverbial wounds. In response, Wall Street's "fear gauge" skyrocketed to its highest close in nearly six weeks.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 23,957.89) finished 724.4 points, or 2.9%, lower. Not one Dow stock closed in positive territory. Caterpillar (CAT) was the worst Dow stock, shedding 5.7%, while BA dropped 5.2%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,643.69) gave back 68.2 points, or 2.5%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,166.68) shed 178.6 points, or 2.4%. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 23.34) finished 5.5 points, or 30.7%, higher.


Closing Indexes March 22

NYSE and Nasdaq March 22

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. John Dowd, President Trump's lead lawyer in Robert Mueller's probe of Russian involvement in the 2016 election, resigned earlier today. The New York Times, which first reported the story, indicated Dowd had considered leaving the legal team months ago. (CNBC)
  2. Banking giant Citigroup (C) has set restrictions on gun sales for its retail clients. The email statement from the company noted that a passed background check is now required, and prohibited the sale of high-capacity magazines. The new restrictions come a month after the deadly Parkland High School shooting, and follow the responses of several retailers who issued new firearms sale rules. (Reuters)
  3. Breaking down a winning NetApp trade. 
  4. Pandora stock just had its best day in weeks.
  5. Buy this tech stock before Easter Week.

 Corporate Earnings Chart March 22

Unusual Options Activity March 22

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Slips, Gold Rises Amid Trade War Concerns

May-dated crude futures fell 87 cents, or 1.3%, to end at $64.30 per barrel, as investors took profits. Black gold was pressured lower by the increasing prospects of a trade war.

Gold futures for April delivery rose $5.90, or 0.5%, to close at $1,327.40 an ounce, a new two-week high. Trump's tariff announcement and the resulting stock sell-off boosted demand for safe-haven asset. 


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