02.15.2012

Reversal In The Works?

02.15.2012

After months of a seemingly endless bull market, changes appear to be taking place in equities and options markets in the U.S. As recent as this week, there was talk of the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting 15,000 by year’s end. Those hopes appear to have faded quickly, however.

Mid-day in Wednesday’s trading, volatility spiked, catapulting the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) to 21.5 – a gain of nearly 10%. Apple Inc’s stock, which had been on a tear since the beginning of February, hitting an all-time high of $525 a share, began to plummet. The selloff caused the Nasdaq Composite Index to drop precipitously and the rest of the major equity indices quickly followed suit.

Ultimately, the Dow ended up down 97 points at 12,780 and the S&P 500 fell 7 points, lowering the index below the 1246 technical level to close at 1243. The break in technical across different indices has had traders and equity strategists predicting a pullback in the market. Some believe there could even be a 5% reduction in the S&P 500. Put buying volumes were up on all sorts of names as traders hedged against a market downturn.

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