Major Benchmarks Mixed As VIX Continues To Rise

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down 34 points at midday, ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes this afternoon. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also remains in the red, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is sitting just above breakeven. On the other hand, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIXis pacing for its third-straight daily rise.

Weighing on investor sentiment today is an unexpected decline in housing starts for July, which fell 7% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.534 million units, while permits for future homebuilding jumped 2.6%. Meanwhile, the U.S. announced it will be starting Covid-19 booster shots next month, with top health officials noting that immunity diminishes with time. 

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Cree Inc (Nasdaq: CREEis seeing an options surge today, following the company's fiscal fourth-quarter revenue miss and dismal first-quarter forecast. So far, 13,000 calls and 4,784 puts have crossed the tape, which is nine times what is typically seen at this point. The August 80 call is the most popular by far, with new positions being opened there. At last check, CREE is down 7.2% to trade at $80.08, after no fewer than three analysts lowered their price targets. On the charts, CREE has fallen below long-term support at the 320-day moving average and is off 24.7% year-to-date.

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One stock outperforming on the Nasdaq today is Ltd (Nasdaq: MNDY), up 12.4% to trade at $342.90 at last check, after earlier notching a fresh record high of $347.66. The newly traded company reported second-quarter losses of 26 cents per share, which were narrower than analysts' anticipated losses of $1 per share, as well as a strong revenue forecast for 2021. In response, no fewer than eight analysts lifted their price targets on MNDY. Over the past month, the security has added 62.1%.

Meanwhile, Tuya Inc (NYSE: TUYA) is one of the worst stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, down 20.3% to trade at $11.96 at last check. The China-based software name reported second-quarter losses of 4 cents per share, which were in line with expectations, and more than doubled its revenue thanks to demand for its cloud services. However, the company's third-quarter revenue forecast missed analysts' estimates. The shares earlier fell to an all-time low of $11.73, and are off 49.5 this quarter.

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