Market's 'fear Gauge' Reaches 2017 High As Republican Health-care Bill Falters

By Joseph Adinolfi Markets MarketWatch Pulse

A popular gauge of expected volatility in U.S. stock markets reached its highest level of the year on Thursday as Republicans delayed a House vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The CBOE Volatility Index, commonly referred to as the VIX, , finished Thursday's session at 13.07, its highest close since Dec. 30. The increase was driven by a late-day selloff in U.S. stocks, which finished lower for a second day after recording their largest selloff of the year on Wednesday. The S&P 500 shed 2.49 points, or 0.1%, to 2,345.96, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.72 points, or less than 0.1%, at 20,656.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index [c: comp] shed 3.95 points, or 0.1%, to 5,817.69. The index had been relatively subdued as expectations that President Donald Trump would swiftly implement a slate of purportedly pro-business policies sent benchmarks to a series of closing records.

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