Today’s stock market performance proved less dire than Wednesday’s bloodbath, but the two-day swoon has now shaved billions from media and tech companies.
Fears about rising interest rates again prompted the heavy selling, with the arrival of corporate earnings season making investors worry about heavy debt burdens and questionable business models. The Dow 30, which see-sawed wildly over the course of the day, ended up at 25,052.83, down 545.91 points, or 2.1%. That was better than its 800-point plunge on Wednesday, but not by much.
The S&P 500 lost 57.31 points, a bit more than 2%, to 2,728.37, its sixth straight down session and worst losing streak since last November. The Nasdaq Composite, the index that was the worst off on Wednesday, shed 93 points, or 1.25%, to finish at 7,329.06. Now more than 10% below its peak, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is officially in a correction.
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Among the hardest-hit stocks in the media and tech sectors: AT&T, down more than 3%; Lionsgate, off 6%; Amazon, down 2%; Comcast, down 2%; and CBS, which gave up 3%.
Snapchat parent Snap Inc., which hit an all-time low on Wednesday, bucked the trend by rising 3.5% to close at $6.82 as bargain-hunting investors took fliers on the troubled social networking company. Facebook and 21st Century Fox also managed small gains, each adding 1% on the day. Fractional gainers included Twitter, World Wrestling Entertainment, Live Nation and Sirius XM, but those few in the black were a distinct minority.
Tech stocks that are part of the S&P 500 on Wednesday fell nearly 5%, their worst performance since 2011. While their performance today was better, with Netflix slipping just 1.5% and Apple down less than a percentage point, technology remains a key battleground for buyers and sellers.
A surge in tech valuations in the first half of 2018 — with Apple and Amazon making history by reaching the $1 trillion valuation level — paced the overall market. But those advances have been accompanied by pessimism about a perceived market bubble, plus hostility from regulators and President Donald Trump over their alleged anti-conservative bias as well as their use of data and security protocols.
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