Wall Street's 'fear gauge' set to jump by the most in more than year as Trump tariff talk roils stock market

The Cboe Volatility Index VIX, +31.55% commonly known as the VIX and often referred to as Wall Street’s fear gauge, was on track Monday morning for its sharpest daily jump in more than a year after a threat by President Donald Trump to raise tariffs on China snapped a monthslong period of relative calm in markets. The VIX was recently up more than 44% at its intrasession peak, with a daily surge at that level representing the biggest since Feb. 5, 2018 when the gauge surged by 115%, according to FactSet data. The index, an options-based measure of expected volatility over the coming 30-day period, traded at 18.54 in recent action, up nearly 6 points from Friday. The long-term average for the gauge is near 19. Trump on Sunday indicated, via a pair of tweets, impatience with the progress of Sino-Washington trade talks. Trump said he would lift tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods by Friday to 25% from 10%. A spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday that Beijing still intends to send trade representatives to the U.S. Beijing’s chief negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, was due to arrive in Washington midweek. The threat has stock-index benchmarks, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.15% the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.10% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.31% set for a sharp tumble on Monday, with Dow futures YMM9, -1.50% down 500 points, or 1.9%, at 25,999, those for the S&P 500 off 1.7% at 2,896.25, while Nasdaq-100 futures were down 2.2% at 7,692. The VIX tends to move in the opposite direction of stocks because the index tends to reflect market bets on the likelihood of a sharp downturn in the market. Since the start of 2019, the VIX has been mostly calm as equity

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