Facebook's Brutal Day Helps Sink Stock Market

Parent company Meta has a historically bad day
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2022 3:14 PM CST
Facebook's Brutal Day Helps Sink Stock Market
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – The stock market had a rough day on Thursday, thanks largely to a historically bad day for Facebook parent company Meta. Its shares fell 26%, which wiped out more than $220 billion in market value—"the largest drop in history for any company," per the AP. As for the major indexes: The Dow fell 518 points, or 1.4%, to 35,111; the S&P 500 fell 112 points, or 2.4%, to 4,477, and the tech-dominated Nasdaq fell 538 points, 3.7%, to 13,878. Mark Zuckerberg's company suffered after its quarterly earnings missed expectations, and Facebook reported its first-ever decline in daily users.

“Facebook is a confidence builder,” JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, tells CNBC. “It’s a super widely held stock and a core part of many portfolios, so when it has such a difficult time, it just shakes overall confidence. The question right now is, is this a Meta-specific issue, or is this going to be an overall issue?” The tech slump extended to other companies, with Spotify, PayPal, Twitter, Snapchat parent company Snap, and Pinterest also seeing declines.

As the Wall Street Journal sees it, expectations that the Federal Reserve is about to start increasing rates is putting pressure on companies to show strong earnings. But many earnings reports have instead been disappointing. “The level of forgiveness has gone down,” says Daniel Genter of RNC Genter Capital Management. “When boards come to their shareholders to confess their sins, they’re just not going to be pardoned with one Hail Mary.” (Read more stock market stories.)

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