Europe Drama, Big Banks Cause Stock Sell-Off; VIX Surges

The VIX saw its biggest one-day surge since March 22

May 29, 2018 at 4:27 PM
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Stocks sold off sharply today amid political turmoil out of Europe and heavy losses out of the financial sector. Traders early in the day digested headlines over more possible elections in Italy, along with news of a parliamentary vote in Spain on Friday. Meanwhile, bank stocks, including Dow components JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS), got crushed due to falling Treasury yields and lackluster guidance from the former. As such, the Dow suffered its worst day since April 24, while the VIX exploded for its biggest rise since March 22.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 24,361.45) was down more than 500 points at one point, finishing with a 391.6-point, or 1.6%, loss. JPM and GS, the two biggest Dow losers, gave back 4.3% and 3.4%, respectively. The only two blue chips that closed higher were Pfizer (PFE) and Coca-Cola (KO), with respective gains of 0.06% and 0.7%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,689.86) fell 31.5 points, or 1.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,396.59) shed 37.3 points, or 0.5%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 17.02) climbed 3.8 points, or 28.7%, for its highest close in nearly a month, topping out at an intraday high of 18.78.

Closing Indexes Summary May 29

NYSE and Nasdaq May 29

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. The "largest ever divestiture" for antitrust reasons has taken place, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Officials were referring to Bayer's sale of $9 billion in assets, which was approved as part of its takeover of Monsanto. (Reuters)
  2. Uber has implemented an emergency button into its mobile app to put riders in contact with police. When the button's pressed, the app will provide the user's name and location. (USA Today)
  3. Volatility expectations are surging on Box stock.
  4. The $1.4 billion Alibaba buzz that sent this tech stock to record highs.
  5. Why bulls should consider this healthcare stock now.

Corporate Earnings Chart May 29

Unusual Options Volume May 29

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Suffers Fifth Straight Loss; Gold Prices Fall

Lingering supply worries and a stronger dollar weighed on oil prices today. July-dated crude futures ended with a $1.15, or 1.7%, loss to close at $66.73 per barrel -- their fifth straight drop.

Gold also struggled today amid strength from the dollar. Gold set for August delivery fell $2.10, or 0.2%, to $1,306.90 per ounce.


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