Dow Plunges 650 Points as Global Sell-Off Intensifies

The arrest of Huawei's CFO throws a wrench in U.S.-China trade relations

by Patrick Martin

Published on Dec 6, 2018 at 11:52 AM

U.S. stocks are selling off today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) down more than 650 points at midday, amid renewed concerns about global trade. The likelihood of a long-term U.S.-China trade deal is in question, following the high-profile arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, which has sent the tech sector spiraling lower. Concerns about bond yields and oil prices are also weighing on stocks. January-dated crude futures were last seen 5% lower at $50.21 per barrel, after the Organization of the Petroleum Countries (OPEC) delayed its decision on output cuts until tomorrow.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are getting pummeled too, while the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) -- Wall Street's "fear gauge" -- is set for its highest close since February. All three major market indexes are on pace for their worst week since March.

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

  • 2 FAANG stocks that remain in analysts' crosshairs.
  • This drug stock is down 50% today.
  • Plus, options bears betting on more troubles for Ford stock; L Brands reports upbeat sales numbers; and XLNX pulls back with the chip sector.

Midday Market Stats Dec 6

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)  is seeing unusual options activity today, with roughly 65,000 puts on the tape -- five times what's typically seen and volume pacing for the 100th percentile of its annual range. Almost all of the action has centered at the January 2019 8-strike put, where it looks like one trader bought to open a big block to speculate on more downside for the automaker. At last check, F was down 2.1% to trade at $9.  

L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) is bucking the broad market sell-off and near the top of the S&P 500 today, up 3% to trade at $34.02, after the retailer reported same-store sales figures that exceeded analyst expectations. LB is still staring at a 45% deficit in 2018, and today's rally has been stymied by the shares' 200-day moving average.

Among the chip stocks getting trounced today is Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX), which was down 3.5% to trade at $88.24. However, today's pullback appears to have lost steam at the shares' 30-day moving average. And despite the drop, XLNX nabbed an 18-year high of $95.18 on Monday and last month enjoyed some bullish analyst attention

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