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 . The CBOE Volatility Index was up about 22% at 12.22, 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 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 , which was trading 1.7% lower, while the S&P 500 index was off 0.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.9% Thursday afternoon. One prominent way to bet on the tech sector, the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF was down 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. , Netflix Inc. and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. had risen too far, too fast. Thursday's moves, however come after Wall Street saw its best daily climb in seven months.
Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.
Continue Reading Below