Dow Eyes Worst Week Since 2008, VIX Hits Fresh Highs

The VIX just hit its highest level since February 2018

Deputy Editor
Feb 28, 2020 at 12:35 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJI) steep sell-off continues, as the blue chip index eyes its worst week since the financial crisis of 2008, on track for a roughly 13% weekly drop. Trade bellwether Boeing (BA) is leading the index's sell-off, while Apple (AAPL) is also suffering notable losses midday. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also headed for substantial weekly losses, while Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), climbed to its highest level in two years, up 15.3% at 45.2 at last check. 

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

  • A copper signal we've been watching. 
  • Understanding volatility for options traders
  • Plus, options bears drink up Starbucks stock; COVID-19 vaccine promise boosts Altimmune stock; and a Q4 miss puts GKOS stock at annual lows. 

MMC Stats Feb 28

An unusual amount of bearish activity has been detected in the options pits of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), where 30,000 puts have crossed the tape so far, two times what's typically seen at this point, compared to 15,000 calls. The March 65 and 70 puts are the most popular, with contracts being opened at the latter. At last glance, SBUX is down 1.1% to trade at $77.44. 

Biotech name Altimmune Inc (NASDAQ:ALT) is one of the best performers on the Nasdaq today on news that the company is advancing toward the animal testing and manufacturing phase of its intranasal coronavirus vaccine after completing its design and synthesis. The vaccine is expected to be out as soon as August. At last check ALT is up 11.4% to trade at $3.71. The security has completely obliterated a recent ceiling at its 200-day moving average, and is eyeing its highest close in nearly a year. 

ALT Chart Feb 28

Healthcare concern Glaukos Corp (NYSE:GKOS) is one of the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange today, down 29.9% at $43.04 after posting fourth-quarter losses of 40 cents per share, which missed analysts estimates and came in 44 cents lower than the same quarter last year. The miss sparked at least four analysts price-target cuts, including one from J.P. Morgan Securities down to $55 from $65. The broker also downgraded GKOS to "neutral" from "overweight." The stock is eyeing its first close south of the $50 region since its August 2018 bull gap as a result. 

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