Dow Sells Off, VIX Surges

The Dow was down almost 400 points at its session lows

Managing Editor
Feb 20, 2020 at 4:34 PM
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The Dow finished with a triple-digit loss today, its third-straight day moving at least 100 points, regardless of direction. The blue-chip index was down by almost 400 points at its session lows, hit by a sudden midday sell-off potentially triggered by lingered COVID-19 concerns. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also closed in the red. In response, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) notched its highest close in weeks. 

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

  • Calls are flying off the shelf for this penny stock.
  • This casino stock suffered a data breach today.
  • Plus, Avis Budget dominates earnings; LL subject to Reddit speculation; and Domino's logs best day ever. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 29,219.98) finished 128.1 points, or 0.4% lower for the day. Dow (DOW) paced the nine winners with a 2.5% gain, while Intel (INTC) paced the 20 laggards with a 2.5% drop. J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) broke even.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,373.23) shed 12.9 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 9,750.97) lost on 66.2 points, or 0.7%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 15.56) gained 1.2 point, or 8.2%.

closing indexes summary feb 20

nyse and nasdaq stats feb 20

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg -- who turned in a lackluster showing at last night's debate -- spent over $220 million on his campaign in January. According to filing with the Federal Election Commission, Bloomberg's campaign has now spent a total of $409 million since formally entering the race in late November. (Reuters)
  2. Roger Stone, former advisor to President Donald Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison today for perjury before Congress. The sentencing also accused Stone of tampering with a witness, all in efforts to protect President Trump from Congressional inquiries. (CNBC)
  3. Avis options are red-hot after upbeat earnings today.
  4. Lumber Liquidators stock is buzzing on the internet today.
  5. Blowout earnings led to Domino's stock's best day ever.

corporate earnings feb 20

unusual options activity feb 20x

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Stays Strong; Gold Gets Sixth Straight

Crude futures added gains for the second-straight day, after the U.S. reported a weekly climb in domestic crude inventories that was smaller than expected. March-dated oil added 49 cents, or 0.9% to settle at $53.78 per barrel. April-dated oil -- now the front month contract -- gained 39 cents, or 0.7% to settle at $53.88.

Gold futures logged their sixth-straight win today, as safe-haven assets unpack what's become a persistent coronavirus threat. Gold for April delivery gained $8.70, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,620.50 an ounce.


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