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S&P 500 VIX Jun '19 (VIM19)

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S&P 500 VIX Futures Market News and Commentary

U.S. Stocks Stabilize After Thursday's Plunge

The S&P 500 ($SPX) on Friday closed up +3.82 (+0.14%), the Dow Jones Industrials index ($DOWI) closed up +95.22 (+0.37%), and the Nasdaq 100 Index ($IUXX) closed down -6.97 (-0.10%). U.S. stock indexes on Friday stabilized after Thursday's sharp sell-off. Short-covering in technology stocks emerged after President Trump said, after the stock market closed on Thursday, that Huawei Technologies, the Chinese firm that was put on a U.S. blacklist, could be part of any trade pact with China. Stocks extended their gains Friday morning after Cui Tiankai, China's Ambassador to the U.S., said China wants to continue working toward a trade agreement. Strength in energy stocks was also supportive for the overall market Friday after crude oil prices rose +1.50%. Stock indexes fell back from their best levels on Friday's weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data. U.S. Apr core capital goods orders report (ex-defense and aircraft), a proxy for capital spending, fell by -0.9% m/m, weaker than expectations of -0.3%. U.S. stock indexes on Thursday fell sharply with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials at 1-week lows and the Nasdaq 100 Index at a 1-3/4 month low on concern that the escalation of the US/China trade conflict will turn into a full-blown trade war. Friday's strength in stocks caused the VIX volatility index to fall by -0.86 to 16.06%. The VIX jumped to a 1-week high of 16.92% Thursday from Wednesday's 2-week low of 14.42%. The VIX index is still well below last Thursday's 4-1/2 month high of 23.38%. Big Picture U.S. Stock Market Factors: Bullish factors for the U.S. stock market include (1) expectations for SPX earnings growth of +3% in 2019, although that is sharply lower than 2018's stellar +23% pace, (2) market expectations for at least two rate cuts through the end of 2020, and (3) general strength in earnings and buybacks after the 2018 tax cut. Bearish factors include (1) escalation of the US/China trade conflict after the U.S. on May 10 raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10% and China retaliated on May 13 by boosting tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods, (2) slower U.S. and global economic growth, (3) the Fed-dot forecast for one more rate hike in 2020, and (4) the recent 2-year high in the dollar index.
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