VIX Spikes on Renewed Trade Concerns

U.S. markets showed weakness for the first time in 5 sessions as trade war concerns resurfaced. Tech and the small-caps showed some midday strength but weakened after President Trump said he would like to move ahead with imposing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports as soon as next week.

President Trump also accused China of undermining U.S. efforts to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, which may further exacerbate trade tensions with China. Volatility spiked 10% after closing above a key level of resistance.

The Nasdaq jumped 1% to extend its win streak to 4-straight sessions while trading a fresh all-time high of 8,113. Blue-sky resistance at 8,050-8,150 was split with the former holding into the closing bell.

The Russell 000 slipped 0.2% despite tagging a fresh record high of 1,740 during the second half of action. Near-term support at 1,725-1,720 held on the morning backtest to 1,728 with a close below the latter being a slightly bearish signal.

The Nasdaq was down 0.3% while trading to an all-time high of 8,133 intraday. The pullback to 8,069 ahead of the closing bell held near-term support at 8,050-8,000.

The S&P 500 fell 0.4% while testing a session low of 2,895. Upper support at 2,900-2,875 held with a close below the latter likely signaling lower lows.

The Dow dropped 0.5% after falling to a late session low of 25,934. The close below the 26,000 level keeps risk open to 25,800-25,600.

Utilities was the only sector to finish in the green after rising 0.1%.

Materials paced sector weakness with a 1.2% loss. Industrials and Financials were lower by 0.8%.


Altra Industrial Motion (AIMC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti
HD Supply (HDS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Northcoast
Tilly’s (TLYS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair
Grupo Supervielle (SUPV) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Vodafone (VODWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Worldline (WRDLY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg


Friday’s earnings announcements (EST): 

Before the open: Big Lots (BIG), Rubius Therapeutics (RUBY)
After the close: No major announcements

Friday’s economic reports (EST): 

​Chicago PMI – 9:45am
Consumer Sentiment – 10:00am
Baker-Hughes Rig Count – 1:00pm


Gold closed at $1,205.00 an ounce, down $6.50

Silver settled at $14.48 an ounce, down $0.22

Copper finished at $2.72 a pound, down $0.02

Crude Oil is at $70.15 barrel, up $0.64

Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $9.13 down $0.36

Make it a great day!

   Todd Mitchell