Dow on Pace for Worst Day of 2021 as Covid-19 Fears Weigh

The VIX earlier surged to its highest level since May

Digital Content Manager
Jul 19, 2021 at 12:05 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down more than 760 points at midday and is eyeing its worst daily drop for 2021, as Covid-19 infections rise across the globe,  taking a massive hit on reopening plays and threatening the economic rebound. Both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are swimming in red ink as well, while the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) -- also known as Wall Street's fear gauge -- surged to its highest level since May.

Contributing to today's pessimism is a freefalling 10-year Treasury yield, which earlier hit a five-month low. Plus, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) said it would start phasing out production cuts by September 2022, sinking energy stocks and stoking concerns of slowing growth for the sector.

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

  • Surprise quarterly losses push Cal-Maine Foods stock lower.
  • AMC Entertainment stock plummets as Covid-19 fears reemerge.
  • Plus, VOD options running hot; biopharmaceutical name surges on promising drug trial data; and Wall Street newbie falls from record highs.

MMC Stats 719

One stock getting blasted in the options pits today is Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD),down 4.1% to trade at  $15.62 at last check. Though a catalyst for today's negative price action was not immediately clear, the Financial Times reported on Friday that members of Turkey’s Uzan family of business tycoons were suing a number of groups, including Vodafone, for $68 billion. So far, 68,000 calls and 1,750 puts have crossed the tape, which is 23 times what is typically seen at this point. Most popular is the September 17 call, followed by the 16 call in the same series, with positions being opened at both. The stock has been trending lower since surging to a May 10, annual high of $20.36, with overhead pressure coming from the descending 10-day moving average.

At the top of the Nasdaq today is Cytokinetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYTK), last seen up 48.7% at $28.60, and earlier hitting an 11-year high of $31.41. Today's massive bull gap came after the biopharmaceutical concern released promising data for its heart disease treatment trial, with no serious adverse effects. Plus, the company said late-stage trials are expected to start before the end of the year. The equity is now pacing for its highest single-day percentage jump ever, as well as its highest close since October, blasting through the previously resistant, 100-day moving average. Over the last nine months, CYTK has added 74.3%.

CYTK 100 Day

Meanwhile, Red Cat Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:RCAT) is at the bottom of the Nasdaq, down 46.8% to trade at $3.78 this afternoon. The major dip followed news that the tech name priced 13.3 million shares of its common stock at $4.50 per share, which is a 58% discount to Friday's close. The company said the proceeds of $60 million will fund sales and marketing efforts, as well as acquisitions and general working capital. The stock is now eyeing its worst day on record, falling from its July 16 all-time high of $7.46. Plus, shares are also below the RCAT's initial public offering (IPO) price of $4.50 per share. Quarter-to-date, the equity has added 57%.

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