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Stocks open lower, VIX jumps, U.S. dollar hovers at 20-year highs

Yahoo Finance’s Jared Blikre breaks down how markets opened on Monday.

Video Transcript

BRAD SMITH: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live, everyone. It's very much a dollar strength story today. Let's get on over to Jared Blikre, who's live on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. We're seeing declines across the major averages right now, Jared. What are you seeing over there?

JARED BLIKRE: That's right. I'm looking at the S&P 500 first. Now, 4,200 has been a big level. We are below that today. In fact, last week, we cleared 4,300. We had some big options strikes in focus. That would be 4,200, 4,300. Now we are moving below those. So you're going to see the increased calls for bear market rally. Are we going to test those lows below 3,700? I don't know at this point. I've been looking for at least 4,000. And if you read my "Morning Brief" last week, perhaps 3,815. That would be 3,815.

Now if we go below that, well, I guess what? We could head all the way down to 3,200. So that's a long ways away. I'm not necessarily looking for that. But I'm looking for possibilities here. So if we get some downside momentum, 4,000 probably a very big level to keep in mind as we head into Jackson Hole this week. But you've got to imagine, what is the Fed going to say that could be a positive catalyst for the market? They have emphasized that they are in data dependent mode only. So we're waiting for those CPI prints.

Also taking a look at the VIX, that has been perking up, looking like it's trading around 23 right now. Looking at the year-to-date chart, we came all the way down below 20. That has been a part-- that has been a point at which the VIX has reversed to the upside in the past. So we're seeing that once again here. And then you look at the currency markets. The US dollar has been a headwind for this market. It is hovering around 20-year highs.

And you take a look at what it's been doing versus the renminbi, versus the Chinese yuan, it is at multi-year highs right now. So the Chinese government, based on the predicament that they're in, they're trying to revive the property sector there, encouraging loans, but they might have to pull out all the stops.

Finally, I just want to take a quick look at the chip sector, memory chips getting a warning by Citibank. This is a very cyclical sector. This has important implications for tech. And if you're looking for another risk-off symbol here or signal here, just look at the meme stocks. I was looking at AMC. Of course, we've been talking about those ape shares. But that stock is down considerably.

So is GameStop. So is Bed, Bath & Beyond. So the risk to the downside is here. But again, this is summer. It's Monday, waiting for Labor Day. And hey, this could all mean nothing. We're going to have to see what happens with Tuesday, and then Jackson Hole into the end of the week, guys.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes, we will. Talking about the dollar, by the way, the Euro is once again below $1 per euro. So that's something to keep an eye on.