Apple Slips From Top Spot as Volatility Spikes: August at TradeStation

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Volatility spiked in August, shifting attention away from individual stocks and toward the indexes.

SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was the busiest symbol on TradeStation since the end of July, ending a four-month reign at the top by Apple (AAPL). Other index-linked products returned to the top 10, displacing popular equities like Netflix (NFLX) and Facebook (FB).

This pattern, taught at our Master Class sessions, is common at times of volatility because emotional fear causes the whole market to move together. Big investors respond by focusing on ETFs like SPY or the PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ), which tracks the Nasdaq-100.

Here’s the complete list for August:

  1. SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): The market-tracking fund returned to No. 1 for the first time since March, climbing three spots from July.
  2. Apple (AAPL): The smartphone giant slid one spot in August.
  3. ProShares UltraPro QQQ (TQQQ): The leveraged Nasdaq-tracking fund jumped back into the list from No. 12 in July.
  4. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): The semiconductor company rose from the eighth spot last month after winning big contracts with Alphabet (GOOGL) and Twitter (TWTR).
  5. Roku (ROKU): The streaming-video disruptor returned to the list for the first time since May, climbing from 11th in July. It even displaced Netflix (NFLX).
  6. Nvidia (NVDA): The semiconductor company rose one spot from the previous month.
  7. Amazon.com (AMZN): The e-commerce behemoth inched down a notch, swapping places with NVDA.
  8. VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term Exchange-Traded Note (TVIX): The long-volatility product returned to the list for the first time since May, climbing seven notches.
  9. PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ): The Nasdaq-100 tracking fund rose from 14th in July. It was QQQ’s first appearance in the rankings since February.
  10. Micron Technology (MU): The memory-chip maker slipped one spot.

The following symbols exited the top 10:

  • Facebook (FB): The social-media giant slipped from No. 5 in July to 13th in August.
  • Netflix (NFLX): The streaming-video stock dropped from third in July to 11th in August.
  • Beyond Meat (BYND): The plant-based food innovator slid from No. 10 in July to 19th in August.
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David Russell is VP of Content Strategy at TradeStation. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them appraised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.