Stocks Battle Trade Headwinds as VIX Spikes

The Dow and its index peers are well of their morning lows

May 6, 2019 at 11:52 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) continues to pare its early morning losses, last seen trading near session highs, though the blue-chip index remains deep in the red at midday. Traders are still digesting President Donald Trump's tariff tweets that sparked a sell-off in global markets, as investors again worry about a U.S.-China trade war. While the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) have mirrored the Dow's price action, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is still set for its highest close since March 25 -- catching VIX futures traders off guard yet again.

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

  • First Solar stock gets another bull note.
  • 2 drug stocks squeezing short sellers.
  • Plus, put traders bet on global weakness; tech stock spikes again; and a drug retailer near the bottom of the Nasdaq. 

midday market stats may 6

One name seeing unusual options trading today is iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM). Traders may be using the emerging markets exchange-traded fund (ETF) to bet on more losses in global markets, as the shares trade down 2.4% at $43.18, set to close below the 50-day moving average for just the second time since January. Today's put/call volume ratio is 3.93, which not only shows almost four puts traded for every call, but also ranks in the 97th annual percentile. The May 42 and 43 puts are seeing heavy trading, along with the September 42 put.

eem etf price

One of the best stocks today is item identifying expert Digimarc (NASDAQ:DMRC), a name featured in last week's Schaeffer's Stock Market Podcast after a Walmart deal sent the shares soaring. DMRC is trading up another 12% at $53.69, topping out at a record best $54.44 earlier. The stock was trading below $15 coming into the year.

Online pet pharmacy PetMed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS) is one of the worst Nasdaq stocks today, down 7.8% at $20, following a top- and bottom-line miss for the fiscal fourth quarter. PETS shares earlier hit a two-year low of $19.50, bringing their year-to-date deficit to 14%.

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