VIX Sinks as Stocks Stage Best Comeback in Years

Not all of the week's price action was positive

Feb 16, 2018 at 1:48 PM
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On the heels of its worst week in years -- and a brutal start for new Fed Chair Jerome Powell --  the U.S. stock market bounced back, and flashed a rare signal not seen since 2001. As of this writing, the Dow was on track for its best week since the "Trump rally" kicked off in November 2016, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq are pacing for their strongest weeks since December 2011.

The benchmarks were no strangers to wild price swings, either, with key inflation data in focus. The Dow explored a nearly 1,150-point intraweek trading range on both sides of breakeven, while the S&P notched its first back-to-back gains of 1% or more since early 2014. Nevertheless, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) pared the bulk of the previous week's gains -- with our senior V.P. of research offering this post-volatility surge trading advice -- and notched its biggest weekly loss since November 2016.

Buffett Boosts Apple; Cisco, Coca-Cola Jump on Earnings

Tailwinds from the broader equities market translated into big weeks for individual equities, too. Starting with blue chips, Apple stock tallied its best daily win streak since August -- and its biggest weekly gain since September 2016 -- after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway upped its stake in the iPhone maker, while Nike (NKE) hit a record high after a bullish brokerage note.

Cisco Systems (CSCO), meanwhile, is pacing toward its best week since May 2013, after one analyst said to buy the tech stock ahead of its impressive earnings report. Additionally, Disney (DIS) gained ground on a deal with Alibaba (BABA), while Coca-Cola (KO) popped after earnings -- and had the Dow stock echoing a familiar theme on Wall Street.

Fossil Stock Has Best Day Ever

Twitter (TWTR) rose for a fourth straight week, as analysts and options traders chimed in amid its recent surge. Universal Display (OLED) gapped higher after inking a deal with a key Apple supplier. And while Fossil (FOSL) had its best day ever on strong wearables growth, Cowen said to buy these five retail stocks -- with one of them flashing a buy signal on the charts, too.

Ahead of a historically tough week, bank stocks had a big week -- sparking notable options volume -- while Chipotle (CMG) shares nearly closed a recent bear gap as Wall Street welcomed the burrito chain's new CEO. Elsewhere, Twilio (TWLO) is on track for its best week ever after earnings, and Square (SQ) pared most of its recent sell-off.

Amazon Claims Its Latest Victims

Not all of the week's price action was to the upside, though. Groupon (GRPN) got rocked after earnings -- rewarding bearish options traders -- and Apricus Biosciences (APRI) gapped lower after the FDA delivered a crushing regulatory blow. Amazon (AMZN) continued to play puppet master on Wall Street, too, as rumors of its latest business ventures impacted shipping stocks and healthcare shares -- though AmerisourceBergen (ABC) managed to brush off AMZN-headwinds amid takeover chatter.

Best and Worst Stocks During Presidents Day Week

Looking ahead, next week is a short one with markets closed on Monday for Presidents Day. While the S&P has historically struggled during the holiday-shortened week, Foot Locker (FL) and Priceline (PCLN) are among the best stocks to own over the four-day period, and this Apple supplier and this energy stock are two of the worst. Blue chips will continue to dominate the earnings calendar, too, with results from Home Depot (HD) and Walmart (WMT), while the minutes from the latest Fed meeting could shine light on a possible March rate hike.

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