Stocks Suffer Worst Weekly Losses Since 2016

Wall Street's 'fear gauge' skyrocketed roughly 60% this week

Managing Editor
Mar 23, 2018 at 4:26 PM
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The Dow finished in the red once again, as trade war concerns overshadowed the spending bill President Donald Trump signed (after threatening a veto), averting a government shutdown. After boasting a 150-point gain early on, thanks to a strong earnings reaction from Nike (NKE), the blue-chip index reversed to end more than 400 points lower, closing at its lowest point since late November. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also sank, with the latter dragged down by semiconductor stocks. All three benchmarks posted their worst weekly performances since January 2016. Elsewhere, the VIX climbed yet again, skyrocketing roughly 60% this week.

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

  • Behind the hottest tech IPO since Snap.
  • Buyout rumors swirled around Kroger and Target today.
  • One options trader made a risky bet with Wynn stock
  • Plus, a low-risk options strategy; a Red Hat earnings preview; and a Dow stock with room to run.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 23,533.20) finished 424.7 points, or 1.8%, lower. It shed 5.7% for the week. Only Boeing (BA) and NKE closed in positive territory, with gains of 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively. DowDuPont (DWDP) was the worst of the other 28 Dow stocks, shedding 3.9%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,588.26) gave back 55.4 points, or 2.1%. It lost 4.7% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,992.67) shed 174 points, or 2.4%, and gave back 6.5% for the week. It was the Nasdaq's first finish south of 7,000 since mid-February.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 24.87) finished 1.5 points, or 6.6%, higher. It added roughly 60% this week.

closing index summary march 23

nyse and nasdaq stats march 23

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Toys 'R' Us kicked off its liquidation sales at more than 700 U.S. stores today, a day later than expected. Shoppers have until April 21 to utilized gift cards before the bankrupt toy store shuts down for good. (CNBC)
  2. Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced its withdrawal from the auction to buy the consumer healthcare business of Pfizer (PFE). It is the third company to pull out of the race this year.  (Reuters)
  3. Options bulls shouldn't forget about this low-risk strategy. 
  4. Red Hat stock could climb to record highs next week after earnings. 
  5. Analyst: This Dow stock could add another 24%.

 corporate earnings march 23

unusual options volume march 23

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil, Gold Spike to Close Out Volatile Week

May-dated crude futures added $1.58, or 2.5%, to end at $65.88 per barrel, after Saudi Arabia's energy minister noted that output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries could be extended into 2019. Black gold gained 5.6% for the week.

Gold futures for April delivery spiked $22.50, or 1.7%, to close at $1,349.90 an ounce, the highest point in over a month. Concerns of a global trade war fueled demand for the safe-haven asset. For the week, gold gained 2.9%. 


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