Stocks Eye Worst Day in Months as Trade Tensions Ramp Up

Wall Street's "fear index," meanwhile, is set for its biggest one-day surge since May

by Lillian Currens

Published on Aug 5, 2019 at 11:48 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), Nasdaq Composite (IXIC), and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are all headed toward their worst day in almost three months, as trade tensions between the U.S. and China go from a simmer to a full-on boil. In light of President Donald Trump's recent decision to implement another round of tariffs on Chinese goods, the yuan hit its lowest level vs. the U.S. dollar since 2008. As such, Trump accused the Asian nation of "currency manipulation," and chip stocks like Micron Technology (MU) have taken a hit today. Meanwhile, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) -- or Wall Street's "fear gauge" -- is set for its biggest one-day jump since May.

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

  • This meat stock's latest earnings report is overshadowing China swine flu concerns
  • The pharma stock cut in half on drug data. 
  • Plus, AMD attracts option bears; the drug stock that's doubled today; and CARS stock hits a new low after an M&A disappointment. 

midday market stats aug 5

In addition to today's trade drama, a C-suite shakeup happening at Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ:AMD) has options bears piling on the chip stock. It was announced this morning that Rick Bergman will join the board, replacing Sandeep Chennakeshu, who has decided to step down at the end of August. So far, 131,000 AMD puts have crossed the tape -- three times the average intraday volume -- compared to 89,000 calls. The weekly 8/9 26-strike put is the most popular, with most of these contracts being bought to open. Right now, AMD is trading down 4.1% at $28.23, which means traders are expecting even more downside by the time this contract expires at the end of this week. 

The best stock on the Nasdaq today is Allakos Inc (NASDAQ:ALLK), which has risen 119.4% to trade at $67.53 so far today. The surge is thanks to mid-stage trial success for the firm's AK002 drug, used to treat patients with eosinophilic gastritis and eosinophilic gastroenteritis. Allakos named its new CFO, Leo Redmond, too. The equity is eyeing its best day ever, and hit new record high of $70.00 earlier, as a result -- soaring past its newly formed 200-day moving average and recent resistance in the $45 area. 

ALLK Aug 5

One of the worst performers on Wall Street today is Inc (NYSE:CARS), as traders digest the company's earnings report. The firm also said a potential sale of the company was put on hold after no actionable offers were brought to the table. The equity touched a record low of $10.66 earlier, and is now down 36.6% at $11.79. 

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