A popular gauge of volatility, or fear, on Wall Street surged by the most since mid-May on Thursday as the stock market in afternoon trade suffered sharp losses in the technology sector XLK, -1.91% The CBOE Volatility Index VIX, +35.79% was up about 39% at around 14, putting it on track for its largest daily surge since May 17, when it climbed more than 46%, according to FactSet data.
The so-called VIX, otherwise known as the fear gauge, measures options bets on the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.83% 30 days in the future and is used by traders to wager on sharp swings in the market. Wall Street stocks were facing a firm drop, led by the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.68% which was trading 1.7% lower, while the S&P 500 index was off 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.73% sank 0.9% Thursday afternoon.
One prominent way to bet on the tech sector, the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF XLK, -1.91% was down 2.2%, pacing its worst one-day drop since June 9, when the overall tech sector unraveled on fears that tech giants like Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -1.77% Netflix Inc. NFLX, -2.31% and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. GOOG, -2.14% GOOG, -2.14% had risen too far, too fast. Thursday’s moves, however come after Wall Street saw its best daily climb in seven months.
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