Wall Street’s key benchmarks faltered on Thursday, capping back-to-back sessions of gains on the heels of a slew of strong tech earnings, as sentiment waned following dismal results from Facebook that sent shares of the company spiraling along with other tech peers.
A recent winning streak in equities was eclipsed by disappointing fourth quarter results from the platform’s parent company Meta (FB), which unveiled figures that missed estimates after the bell on Wednesday. The Q4 report sent shares tumbling more than 26% — and also hammered other technology stocks — marking the biggest single-day wipeout in market history.
The Nasdaq Composite plunged 538.73 points to end 3.74% lower, while the S&P 500 fell 2.44% into the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed down 518.17 points, or 1.45%, lower.
Meanwhile, WTI crude oil topped $90 a barrel for the first time since 2014 amid continued global supply constraints and geopolitical tensions.
Meta reported Q1 2022 revenue, a key figure for stock watchers, that came up short, with the company estimating between $27 billion to $29 billion in the current quarter, below analysts’ expectations of $30.25 billion. The company’s ability to continue to navigate Apple’s (AAPL) recent privacy changes that allow iOS users to opt out of letting their apps track them across the web was also in focus for the near term.
Facebook’s fourth-quarter report comes amid a prolific week in earnings season. Shares of Amazon (AMZN), which disclosed figures after market close on Thursday, surged 15% in post-market trading after the company reported a 9% sales increase during the last three months of 2021 and a jump in profit attributed to its deal with Rivian (RIVN). The e-commerce giant’s results mark the last of five corporate heavyweights that account for about one-quarter of the S&P 500’s total market capitalization for this earnings season. Earlier this week, Alphabet (GOOGL) rallied after the company topped quarterly sales and profit estimates and announced a 20-for-1 stock split.
In a discussion with Yahoo Finance Live on why Facebook and other social media stocks have cratered, Cowen managing director Chris Pollard said: “If we take a step back and we think about why markets have been weak, it’s been the hawkish policy pivot.”
Anxiety around central banking policies rattled markets in January. The S&P 500 posted a negative return of 5.26% for January 2022 – marking its worst month since the benchmark plunged 12.5% in March 2020 after COVID-19 upended the global economy. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) narrowly avoided its worst-performing January on record after a loss of 8.98% for the month.
LPL Financial chief market strategist Ryan Detrick pointed out that poor January performance has historically been followed by …….