S&P Flashes Signal Not Seen in 20 Years; VIX Hits New Low

Bank stocks will be in focus next week as earnings season kicks off

Oct 6, 2017 at 4:12 PM
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It was another record-setting week on Wall Street, with the Dow bringing its winning streak to seven sessions, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIX) strung together eight straight wins. Plus, the SPX extended its streak of record closes to six -- the longest in 20 years. While this signal could suggest intermediate-term outperformance for stocks, it's also preceded notorious stock market declines.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) fell to its lowest close on record, no concern to those holding a record number of short VIX futures positions. And while a flurry of upbeat economic data helped fuel the broad market gains, Friday's discouraging nonfarm payrolls reports had all three indexes snapping their win streaks. 

Gun, Casino Stocks Volatile After Vegas Shooting

Traders return to work Monday digesting news of the fatal attack in Las Vegas -- the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Gun stocks soared on expectations sales would rise ahead of a revived gun control debate, while casino stocks spiraled on news the shooter had set up camp at MGM Resorts' Mandalay Bay. However, MGM retreated to a historically bullish trendline, suggesting it might be a good time to buy calls on the stock.

Dow Winners ... And Loser

While the Dow carved out new highs, blue-chip tech stock Intel explored territory not seen since the dot.com bubble -- bringing its daily win streak to six, and catching the eye of call buyers. And while options bulls may want to take a closer look at McDonald's stock and Goldman Sachs, one analyst said it might be a good time to buy Microsoft shares. On the other end of the spectrum, General Electric stock maintained its spot as worst Dow stock so far this year.

Amazon Continues To Take Names

Amazon stock continues to be one to watch -- with its high price a possible bullish tell -- as the company continues its attempts to rule the world. While reports that it's testing a new delivery service pressured FedEx shares, short sellers continue to strike this Amazon victim.

Elsewhere among FAANG stocks, Apple stock took a hit on news of iPhone 8 battery problems, while Google's foray into the camera market had Snap stock smarting. And there may be a new tech stock joining the FAAANG fold, with analysts impressed with Adobe Systems' solid year.

Drug Stocks Run The Full Gamut Of Performances

It was another volatile week in the pharma sphere. Teva Pharmaceutical popped on news the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was considering making it easier to market generic drugs. However, approval of Mylan's generic version of Teva's Copaxone sent the shares and Momenta stock spiraling the next day. Celsion stock, meanwhile, tripled in value on strong data for its ovarian cancer treatment.

Fed, Banks in Focus

Looking ahead, bank stocks will be in focus next week with the release of the Fed's September meeting minutes due Wednesday, and earnings from several large financial firms marking the start of third-quarter earnings season. With several potentially volatile events on the horizon, it's always good to remember three important principles of successful options trading.


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