Wall Street‘s ‘fear index‘ surges 20%

The Cboe Volatility index jumped on Thursday, returning back above its long-term average level as the U.S. stock market sold off broadly amid concerns about trade and ongoing weakness in the technology sector. The VIX climbed 23%, or 4.18 points, to 22.04, putting it on track for its biggest one-day pop since Feb. 5, when it more than doubled off historically low levels. The so-called "fear index," which generally moves inversely to the stock market, climbed as the Trump administration‘s plans to announce new trade restraints against China, renewing fears about a potential trade war that could dent economic growth. Ongoing weakness in Facebook Inc. added to the negative tone in equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.9% on Friday while the S&P 500 lost 1.7%. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.9%. The VIX, which reflects bullish and bearish S&P 500 options wagers 30 days out, has more than doubled in 2018, having risen 102.5%.