VIX Explodes as Stocks Nosedive on Trade Fears

The tech sector is getting hammered today

Jun 25, 2018 at 11:55 AM
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Stocks are extending their morning losses, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) trading about 300 points below breakeven. The price action is even worse for the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC), which is on track for its worst day since April 6, due to sharp losses out of the tech sector.

Investors are taking a risk-off approach following the latest trade warnings from President Donald Trump, along with headlines that the Trump administration could put in measures to prevent Chinese-owned entities from investing in U.S. tech companies. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, however, took to Twitter to call the reports "fake news." Still, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) has exploded to its highest level since late May.

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

midday market stats june 25

One name seeing heavy options trading today is BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB), as the tech stock extends Friday's post-earnings slide. BB shares were last seen down 6.2% at $10.02, but call volume is roughly double put volume today. The January 2019 10-strike call is most popular, while the July 10 call is also seeing heavy interest. Traders with even shorter time frames are opening positions targeting the weekly 6/29 10.50-strike call. Anyone buying to open any of these calls is betting on a rebound from BlackBerry stock in the weeks and months ahead. For what it's worth, the $10 level contained the equity's most recent pullback in April.

bb shares

Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) is the top S&P 500 Index (SPX) stock today, and a leading gainer on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). CPB shares are seeing a rare surge, last seen up 9.9% at $42.41, thanks to swirling buyout rumors. The move has the stock on pace for its first close atop the 80-day moving average since mid-February, though it remains nearly 21% lower year-over-year.

As for the biggest NYSE losers today, Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL) is trading down 8.5% at $58.13, and earlier hit an annual low of $56.95. The cruise operator lowered its full-year profit outlook, citing a stronger dollar and higher oil prices. This is just more of the same from CCL shares, which were already trading in a series of lower highs and lows throughout 2018. As such, the stock could be vulnerable to more bearish attention from analysts in the near term.

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