Panic-buying signs emerge on Wall Street Wednesday even as Dow industrials face worst day since October – MarketWatch

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-1.74%

on Wednesday was seeing its biggest one-day skid since around October, market internals suggest investors on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq are buying rather than selling stocks. The Arms Index Arms Index, a volume-weighted breadth measure, fell to 0.234, while many on Wall Street see declines below 0.500 as suggesting panic buying. The Arms Index is calculated by dividing the ratio of the number of advancing stocks over decliners by the ratio of the volume of advancing stocks over declining volume and the Arms index often falls below 1.000, as the buyers rush into advancing stocks. The Nasdaq Arms Index was at 0.287. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-2.03%

was off 1% at 13,484, the S&P 500 index
SPX,
-2.19%

was off 1.3% at 3,798, losing its grip on a psychological key level at 3,800 and the Dow was trading 1.4% lower at 30,525. The moves downward in stock comes as investors were finding few reasons to buy stocks amid a focus on retail investors bidding up heavily shorted stocks like GameStop
GME,
+107.39%
.
Later in the day, investors also are awaiting a policy update from the Federal Reserve at 2 p.m. E.T., with Jerome Powell set to hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m.