The market is starting to worry about the blue-chip names in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The benchmark index has been under pressure in recent weeks as President Donald Trump's trade policy threatens to upend the business of a number of multinational corporations that are also Dow constituents. Most recently, the Dow was dragged lower by the likes of Boeing Co. (BA) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) , which could face significant headwinds from Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum.
As the Dow struggles to digest news of more protectionist trade policy, options traders have exhibited measured anxiety about the future of the index and its possible underperformance. Implied volatility on an exchange-traded fund tracking the Dow is at its highest level relative to the broader market since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, according to data from Bloomberg.
Implied volatility on the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA) , or the measure of options prices hedging against volatility on the index, hasn't reached this high in comparison to the rest of the market in nearly a decade.
The Dow has rebounded from recent lows. However, the nearly decade-old record of implied volatility on the index suggested options traders remain on high alert for underperformance.
In premarket trading Wednesday, March 14, the futures pointed to a higher open for the Dow. Futures for both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also higher.