Soaring Bond Yields Drop Stocks

The VIX is on track for its biggest one-day gain in nearly two months

Oct 4, 2018 at 11:56 AM
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U.S. stocks are getting drilled today, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) down triple digits. FAANG stocks are in the red, after Bloomberg said Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) were victims of a hardware attack by Chinese spies. Meanwhile, robust economic data and upbeat comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell have sent bond yields to multi-year highs. As such, the Dow is set to snap its five-day win streak, and the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) -- or the stock market's "fear gauge" -- is eyeing its biggest one-day pop since Aug. 10. 

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

  • 2 drug stocks going crazy today.
  • The "poison pill" lifting this Amazon rival.
  • Plus, the social media stock hitting new lows; the penny stock that's doubled today; and Muddy Waters' new short pick.

MMC stock market stats oct 4

 
Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) is sporting unusual options volume today, with roughly 54,000 puts exchanged so far -- twice the average intraday pace. Most active is the weekly 10/5 8-strike put, where it looks like speculators are opening new positions to roll the dice on SNAP's trajectory through tomorrow's close. Shares of the Snapchat parent were last seen  4.1% lower at $7.89, and earlier touched a record low of $7.67, after both Citi and Evercore ISI cut their price targets to $7 and reiterated "sell" ratings.
 
Vaxart Inc (NASDAQ:VXRT) is sitting on top of the Nasdaq today, with the shares 119.2% higher to trade at $6.09. Traders are applauding the company's upbeat data on its experimental flu vaccine, which showed a 39% reduction in the illness compared to a placebo. Prior to today's surge, VXRT shares had spent the past few months stalling beneath the $3-$3.50 area, but today peaked at $7.60 -- territory not charted since March.
 
VXRT stock chart oct 4

 

On the other hand, Manulife Financial Corporation (NYSE:MFC) stock is near the bottom of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), after Muddy Waters said it's short the insurance issue. Muddy's Carson Block warned that Manulife could face billions in losses from a trial between its life insurance subsidiary and a hedge fund. At last check, MFC stock is down 2.3% at $17.64, and earlier touched an annual low of $17.29.

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