Stocks Return to Bear Market Territory Midday

Volatility is at its lowest since 2008

Deputy Editor
Mar 12, 2020 at 12:21 PM
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As coronavirus fears spread within the U.S. and the Trump Administration struggles to provide a tangible fiscal response, the Cboe Market Volatility Index (VIX) jumped to higher than 69.26, its highest mark since the 2008 market crash. Trading paused with yet another "circuit breaker" as well, after U.S. President Donald Trump initiated temporary travel restrictions from Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down nearly 2,000 points at midday, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) also deep in the red.

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

  • Why CME is closing the Chicago trading floor
  • The airline stock plummeting on a fresh downgrade
  • Plus, SNCR’s options volume surge; the company roaring higher on treatment plans; and Sotherly Hotels falls with travel. 

MMC Midday Stats Mar 12

One stock sporting unusual options volume today is Synchronoss Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:SNCR). It's unclear what's causing the 14% drop in the equity this afternoon, but 3,126 puts  have crossed the tape so far, compared to zero calls, and is running at four times the expected rate. Most popular are the March 2.5- and June 5-strike puts. The software company has now entered the short sale restricted list, and was last seen trading at $3.12, earlier hitting a record low of $3.02.

One of the top stocks on the Nasdaq today is penny stock Predictive Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:POAI), up 31.3% to trade at $2.81, at last check. Hauling the equity back above yesterday's record low of $1.93 is the company's announcement that it plans to use AI to develop coronavirus treatments such as drugs and a vaccine. This is through an operating agreement with Soluble Therapeutics, which POAI is planning to acquire in the second half of 2020. Year-to-date the equity is now up 18%.

Situated near the bottom of the Nasdaq is real estate investment trust (REIT) Sotherly Hotels Inc (NASDAQ:SOHOB), dropping 13.2% to trade at an eight-year low of $1.87, at last check. The smaller hotel company recently retracted their 2020 financial outlook due to corporate group cancellations. The coronavirus is having an adverse affect on the hotel and travel industry, and today SOHOB's stock has already broken below yesterday's lows. The stock is continuing its rapid dive below the formerly supportive 200-Day moving average. 

MMC Sohob Chart Mar 12

 

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