VIX Pops Amid Stock Sell-Off; Dow Snaps Win Streak

The Dow ended lower for the first time in nine sessions

by Josh Selway

Published on May 15, 2018 at 4:25 PM

The Dow ended its eight-day win streak in dramatic fashion today, as the blue-chip index fell more than 190 points. Weak earnings from Home Depot and a rising 10-year Treasury yield weighed on stocks most of the day, and the selling pressure only intensified after North Korea reportedly pulled out of a meeting with South Korea, citing ongoing military exercises with the U.S. North Korea is also allegedly threatening to cancel the June 12 meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. This also sparked a big move out of the VIX, with the "fear gauge" enjoying its best day in over month.

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

  • Option bulls are lining up for Canadian Solar earnings.
  • The biotech boosted by HIV vaccine data.
  • The bear note that stalled Tesla stock.
  • Plus, Nvidia flashes a "buy" signal; 2 stocks analysts love; and time to bet against this blue chip.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,706.41) fell 193 points, or 0.8%, spending the entire day in the red. Only three Dow stocks -- Nike (NKE), Walt Disney (DIS), and Walmart (WMT) -- closed in positive territory, while a 1.8% pullback from Intel (INTC) paced the 26 losers. General Electric (GE) shares, meanwhile, closed flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,711.45) closed down 18.7 points, or 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,351.63) fell 59.7 points, or 0.8%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 14.63) added 1.7 points, or 13.2%.

Closing Indexes Summary May 15

NYSE and Nasdaq May 15

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Amazon (AMZN) Vice President Drew Herdener said the company is "disappointed" in a new Seattle business tax that was approved on Monday. The "head tax" is meant to combat the city's growing homelessness problem. (USA Today)
  2. Cryptocurrency investors continue to monitor any headlines out of Manhattan, where Consensus 2018 is taking place. The three-day event for cryptocurrency enthusiasts kicked off yesterday, boasting afterparties with celebrities like Snoop Dogg, along with a ton of Lamborghinis. (Reuters)
  3. Nvidia stock may be flashing "buy."
  4. 2 stocks analysts continue to love.
  5. Time to buy puts on this struggling Dow stock.

Corporate Earnings Chart May 15

Unusual Options Activity May15

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Ends at Lowest Point of 2018

Oil prices moved higher again, as traders eyed growing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. June-dated crude futures added 35 cents, or 0.5%, to close at $71.31 per barrel.

Rising Treasury yields and a stronger dollar pressured gold prices today, with the precious metal closing lower for the sixth time in seven sessions. Gold set for June delivery fell $27.90, or 2.1%, to settle at $1,290.30 an ounce -- the lowest close of 2018.

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