On March 15, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) had an implied volatility of 10.5%—lower than its 15-day average. In comparison, SPY’s implied volatility was close to 10%. The implied volatility indicates investors’ anxiety. A rise in the implied volatility is generally associated with a fall in stock prices. Currently, XLU’s implied volatility is at the lowest levels this year, which could suggest investors’ confidence.
Interestingly, utility stocks are seen as relatively slow and stable, but their historical long-term implied volatility levels were higher than broader markets.
Among the top utilities, Duke Energy (DUK) and Southern Company (SO) had a volatility of close to 12% last week. PG&E (PCG) stock had the highest implied volatility levels of 61%, while NRG Energy (NRG) had an implied volatility of ~25% recently.
To learn how Southern Company stock played out and how it’s placed compared to its peers, read What Southern Company’s Indicators Suggest as Stock Peaks.
The overall cannabis sector was off to a positive start in the first half of the day today. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ) gained about 1.7% as of noon.
Today, IHS Markit published its purchasing managers' indexes or PMIs for May countries around the world.
Best Buy (BBY) reported better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, which ended on May 4.
On May 23 at 12:46 PM EDT, Apple (AAPL) was trading at $179.12 with a 2.0% loss for the day.
The CBOE Volatility Index has been sitting at very low levels for most of 2019.
On May 23, CannTrust (CTST) was trading nearly 4.1% lower, while Cronos Group (CRON) fell 3.3%.
US equity markets are in the red today amid the escalation in the US-China trade war.