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Dow drops 336 points as Facebook plunges

Facebook is on track for its worst day in more than five years, and it's dragging the stock market down with it....

Posted: Mar 20, 2018 12:09 AM
Updated: Mar 20, 2018 12:09 AM

Facebook is on track for its worst day in more than five years, and it's dragging the stock market down with it.

The Dow fell as much as 493 points on Monday and is in negative territory for the year. Facebook tumbled 7%, helping to pull the S&P 500 down 1.7% and the Nasdaq 2.2%.

Big tech companies, including Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, have helped contribute to the market's climb, but all four dropped Monday. The S&P's tech sector fell 2.9%. It was the worst performing sector on the index.

Facebook is under pressure from lawmakers in both the United States and the UK after more than 50 million users' data ended up in the wrong hands.

Related: Facebook is facing an existential crisis

"When you have real damage to a large enough company, that translates into the indexes as a whole," Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, said.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar has called on Zuckerberg to appear before Congress to testify about "what Facebook knew about misusing data from 50 million Americans in order to target political advertising and manipulate voters." John Kennedy, a Republican senator from Louisiana, joined Klobuchar in calling for Zuckerberg to testify.

Related: Why nobody can tell Mark Zuckerberg what to do at Facebook

Investors worry that new regulations on Facebook or an exodus of users from the platform could slow down one of the world's most valuable companies and chill the tech sector's rise.

"Investors are questioning [Facebook's] growth potential. As a result, they are willing to take profits," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

Wall Street is also weighing President Trump's next move on trade with China and the first Federal Reserve meeting with Chairman Jay Powell at the helm beginning Wednesday.

The White House confirmed to CNN last week that the administration is considering tariffs on at least $30 billion worth of imports from China. The move would be retaliation for alleged Chinese technology intellectual property theft. Trump has already imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, setting off fears of retaliation by US trading partners and a wider trade fight.

Related: Major retailers to Trump: New China tariffs will hurt American shoppers

On Monday, 49 of the nation's largest retailers, including Walmart, Target and Costco, said new tariffs would hurt consumers.

"As you continue to investigate harmful technology and intellectual property practices, we ask that any remedy carefully consider the impact on consumer prices," the letter stated.

Investors are also preparing for the Fed to raise rates when it meets Wednesday for a two-day policy conference. CME Group predicts a 94% chance the Fed hikes rates by a quarter percentage point.

Related: Trump spending spree may speed up the Fed

"We have a lot more uncertainty with respect to the Fed than we've had in years," McMillan said. "Everyone believes Chair Powell is similar to Chair Yellen, but we don't really know."

McMillan argued the Fed's path to gradually normalize interest rates, which have been at historical lows since the 2008 financial crisis, is a sign of the economy's strength.

"This is essentially the Fed endorsing the fact that the market is growing. I think the market reaction ultimately would end up being positive."

Stovall of CFRA Research is projecting the Fed will raise interest rates three times in 2018, but investors have left open the possibility of a fourth. Higher interest rates bring down the value of stocks by making borrowing costs higher for companies. As rates climb higher, returns in the bond market can also look more attractive than riskier stocks.

-CNNMoney's Matt Egan contributed to this story.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 540083

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798481529
Mobile41283809
Madison35157506
Tuscaloosa25925455
Shelby25302249
Montgomery24723593
Baldwin21411310
Lee15993172
Calhoun14574319
Morgan14425280
Etowah13925353
Marshall12280225
Houston10648282
Elmore10158206
Limestone10070151
St. Clair9948245
Cullman9768194
Lauderdale9460243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8341176
Walker7261278
Autauga7005108
Jackson6840112
Blount6773139
Colbert6322135
Coffee5581118
Dale4877113
Russell445738
Chilton4373113
Franklin426382
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394877
Chambers3596123
Dallas3569153
Clarke351561
Marion3140101
Pike312077
Lawrence303098
Winston275873
Bibb264764
Geneva254178
Marengo249865
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale224078
Butler219169
Fayette212862
Henry189943
Cherokee184845
Randolph182542
Monroe178141
Washington167839
Macon161350
Clay157257
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143336
Lowndes140653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter105032
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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