Stocks Trade at Fresh Lows Day After Fed

The VIX is headed toward its highest closing price in months

Dec 20, 2018 at 11:58 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) continues to fall following yesterday's Fed decision, trading at fresh annual lows once again. A post-earnings decline from Dow component Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) is also weighing on the index, as are headlines about a potential looming government shutdown. This all has the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) at new lows, too, with the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) -- or Wall Street's "fear index" -- flirting with its highest close since February.

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

midday market stats december 20

There's been heavy options trading on Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), with calls outpacing puts 15,000 to 2,400, at last check, and Trade-Alert attributing the volume to deal speculation. The most popular option is the December 47.50 call, where buy-to-open activity could be taking place. These bulls would be betting on ATVI stock pushing above $47.50 by tomorrow's close, when the front-month contracts expire. The video game stock was last seen trading up 0.2% at $46.41.

One huge winner on the Nasdaq is Rent-A-Center Inc (NASDAQ:RCII), last seen up 6.6% at $15.73, recovering all the losses from this week's bear gap and then some, earlier hitting an annual high of $16.15. This is the second straight daily rally for RCII, after B. Riley Financial said yesterday that the company's decision to terminate its merger deal with Vintage Capital was "invalid."

rcii stock chart december 20

One of the biggest losers today is Twist Bioscience Corp (NASDAQ:TWST), following the synthetic DNA specialist's bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss. TWST stock was last seen down 13% at $17, a level that's roughly half the equity's all-time high from earlier this month.

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