Facebook shares 5% slide after reports of data misuse

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US stocks fell on Monday, with the Nasdaq dropping more than 1 per cent, as

Facebook’s shares tumbled about 5 per cent on reports that data of 50 million users were misused.

Facebook shares dropped, on track for their worst day in 16 months, on media reports that a political consultancy that worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign gained inappropriate access to data on 50 million Facebook users. The S&P technology index, which has powered the stock market’s near relentless rally, retreated 1.2 per cent.

Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet – all part of the so-called FAANG group of heavyweight stock, along with Facebook – were down between 0.7 per cent and 2.25 per cent.

The Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, over Tuesday and Wednesday, is also in focus as investors brace for a near-certain interest rate hike this week and watch out for clues on the path of rate hikes. While it is near certain that the Fed will raise rates by a quarter basis point on Wednesday, investors are more focused on whether policymakers think economic conditions are strong enough for four hikes this year, one more than the markets expect.

“I don’t think anyone’s expecting any surprises (from the Fed) … but the bigger factor has been the surrounding the big technology companies, particularly Facebook,” said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey. “Just a re-examination of whether or not there are issues out there for all of the tech companies, regulatory or otherwise. They’ve been such leaders that it’s spilling over into the general markets.”


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