VIX Vaults Higher as Stocks Resume Sell-Off

The Nasdaq is headed for its fourth straight weekly loss

Managing Editor
Oct 26, 2018 at 12:06 PM
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Stocks are selling off once more, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) down more than 350 points at midday, almost erasing the gains from yesterday. The S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are spiraling, as well, with the former hovering near correction territory. Plus, all three indexes are headed for a weekly loss -- the Nasdaq its fourth in a row -- as disappointing FAANG earnings overshadow better-than-expected third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). Against this backdrop, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), is pacing for a 30% weekly gain.

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

  • 2 stocks at new lows after earnings
  • The chip stock up 17% today.
  • Plus, day traders target Johnson & Johnson; STX stock hit by sector struggles; and AK Steel sinks after earnings.

Midday Market Stats Oct 26

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is seeing unusual put volume today, with more than 8,500 contracts on the tape -- double the expected intraday amount and volume pacing in the 97th percentile of its annual range. Most active is the weekly 10/26 138-strike put, with more than 2,561 contracts changing hands, and the bulk of which appear to be seeing buy-to-open activity. The Dow stock is down 1.1% to trade at $136.98 today. 

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) is down 9.6% to trade at $38.66, one of the worst stocks on the S&P 500 today, dragged lower by a dismal quarterly report from sector peer Western Digital (WDC). STX is dangerously close to its annual low of 36.07 from last November, and is now trading below its year-to-date breakeven level. The shares have been pressured lower by their 20-day moving average since an early September bull gap. 

MMC Daily Chart STX

AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) is down 9.2% to trade at $3.83 today, one of the worst stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) so far, after the company's third-quarter earnings and revenue fell short of expectations. The steel stock earlier fell to a two-year low of $3.56, and is on track for its worst day since July. AKS has now shed 32% in 2018, and a breakout earlier this month was contained by the shares' 320-day moving average.

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