Stock Sell-Off Continues; VIX Hits 8-Month High

Oil prices fell alongside stocks amid major inventory builds

by Emma Duncan

Published on Oct 11, 2018 at 4:32 PM

U.S. stocks swung between minor gains and massive losses in today's wildly volatile session. Traders were temporarily relieved by this morning's tame reading on consumer inflation -- but sentiment remained skittish after Wednesday's steep sell-off, particularly as President Donald Trump continued to criticize the Fed's policy-tightening path as "ridiculous" and "a little too cute." As a result, it was a back-and-forth shoving match between the bulls and bears today. Stocks got a late-session push off their afternoon lows on reports that Trump and China's President Xi Jinping agreed to meet at next month's G-20 summit, but the S&P nevertheless ended the session well below a critical moving average.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,052.83) tanked 545.9 points, or 2.1%. The Dow was off nearly 699 points at its intraday low, and settled below its 200-day moving average for the first time since July 3. Once again, all 30 blue chips ended in the red, with Microsoft (MSFT) suffering the least on a 0.2% drop. Pfizer (PFE), however, paced the remaining losers, and fell 3.8%. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,728.37) shed 57.3 points, or 2.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,329.06) dropped 92.9 points, or 1.3%. The SPX closed beneath its 200-day moving average for the first time since April 2. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq briefly traded below 7,298 on an intraday basis -- marking a 10% correction from its Aug. 29 record high close -- but managed to settle north of that level.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 24.98), meanwhile, added 2 points, or 8.8%, to hit an eight-month high. The VIX has now surged 106.1% for the month of October.

Closing Indexes Summary Oct 11

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Oct 11

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Billy McFarland, the 27-year-old New York man who led the 2017 Fyre Festival scam that cost investors $27.4 million, was sentenced to six years in prison earlier today. The sentence -- which was reduced from the originally suggested 15 to 20 years -- also follows McFarland's concert ticket scam, which he ran while out on bail. (Bloomberg)
  2. Banking giant Wells Fargo (WFC) is making a jump back into mortgage bonds. After JPMorgan Chase, the West Coast-based firm is only the second corporate banking name to securitize mortgages since the 2008 financial crisis. (MarketWatch)
  3. Why you should buy these 2 commodity stocks before earnings.
  4. Weed stock Tilray took a hit after an analyst downgrade. 
  5. Analysts are still bullish on Netflix after the sell-off.

Corporate Earnings Oct 11

Unusual Options Activity October 11

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Marks Multi-Month High as Market Dips

Oil fell to its lowest close in over two weeks, suffering a steep loss alongside the broader market. The bearish momentum was exacerbated by today's holiday-delayed release of inventory data, which showed bigger-than-forecast climbs in both crude and gasoline stockpiles. November-dated crude futures shed $2.20, or 3%, to close at $70.97 per barrel.

On the flip side, gold futures pushed higher as the market extended its sell-off, and the U.S. dollar softened. December-dated gold added $34.20, or 2.9%, to settle at $1,227.60 per ounce -- its highest close since early August.

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