Trade Fears Spark Epic Stock Sell-Off

The VIX surged almost 40% during the massive pullback in equities

by Josh Selway

Published on Aug 5, 2019 at 4:31 PM

U.S. stocks had their worst day of the year, extending recent weakness as the U.S.-China trade relationship took another turn for the worse. President Donald Trump accused China of currency manipulation after the yuan fell to its lowest point versus the dollar in a decade, and the Asian nation also reportedly halted crop imports from the U.S. When all was said and done, the Dow was down almost 800 points, bringing its losing streak to five, while the heavy losses for the S&P and Nasdaq brought their losing streaks to six sessions. The VIX, meanwhile, surged to its highest close since early January.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,717.74) traded down more than 960 points at its session low, before finishing with a 767.3-point, or 2.9%, pullback. Every single Dow component closed in the red, and Apple (AAPL) was the biggest loser, giving back 5.2%. The fifth straight loss marks the Dow's biggest losing streak since March.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,844.74) dropped 87.3 points, or 3%, for its sixth straight loss, the longest losing streak since October, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,726.04) lost 278.03 points, or 3.5%. Its losing streak is also at six, for its longest since November 2016.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 24.59) finished with a 7-point, or 39.6%, gain, its best day since October.

closing indexes aug 5

nyse and nasdaq aug 5

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. The Federal Reserve is planning to make a real-time payments service that is supposedly meant to bolster small banks. Many large banks already have access to such services, with many building their own. The Fed's service is expected to launch in 2023 or 2024. (Reuters)
  2. Private company Cloudflare, a website infrastructure and security firm, announced that it's terminating online platform 8chan as a customer. The move comes after the gunman from the shooting in El Paso, Texas, posted anti-immigrant beliefs on the forum. However, some can already access 8chan again. (CNET)
  3. Disney dipped below a key trendline before earnings.
  4. A pharma stock that posted huge gains today.
  5. 3 more video game stocks that struggled today.

corporate earnings aug 5

unusual options activity aug 5

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Prices Jump During Stock Sell-Off

Oil prices were also hit hard today due to trade tensions. September crude futures settled down 97 cents, or 1.7%, at $54.69 per barrel.

Gold, on the other hand, touched fresh highs thanks to the risk-off backdrop. December-dated gold rose $19, or 1.3%, to close at $1,464.60 an ounce, the highest close since May 2013.


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