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: 148387

Reported Deaths: 3769
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto9953104
Hinds9892198
Harrison7045110
Jackson6270119
Rankin5462102
Lee501095
Madison4734106
Forrest380586
Jones354888
Lauderdale3425145
Lafayette321549
Washington3161107
Lamar289250
Oktibbeha244362
Bolivar240984
Lowndes234164
Panola219850
Neshoba2196118
Marshall213850
Leflore204790
Pontotoc199228
Monroe197377
Sunflower191655
Lincoln188765
Warren175357
Tate168051
Union166025
Copiah163040
Pike161658
Yazoo154239
Scott152129
Itawamba151534
Pearl River150867
Coahoma150143
Alcorn149628
Simpson146753
Prentiss144230
Adams141150
Grenada140645
Leake133543
Holmes129961
George124524
Tippah124530
Covington122238
Winston121624
Hancock120239
Wayne117223
Marion115846
Attala112234
Tishomingo108942
Chickasaw107132
Newton104229
Tallahatchie96827
Clay90327
Clarke89353
Jasper82022
Walthall76328
Stone76114
Calhoun73913
Montgomery73625
Carroll72115
Lawrence70814
Noxubee70617
Yalobusha70627
Smith70516
Perry66126
Tunica60619
Greene60022
Claiborne58316
Jefferson Davis56517
Amite53114
Humphreys53119
Benton49117
Quitman4897
Webster43414
Kemper42518
Wilkinson39422
Jefferson34811
Franklin3365
Choctaw3237
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1144
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 242874

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31944500
Mobile19687361
Madison13065148
Tuscaloosa12983154
Montgomery12286236
Shelby1020377
Baldwin860398
Lee773566
Morgan653850
Calhoun6240119
Marshall621355
Etowah621066
Houston523038
DeKalb481336
Cullman435442
Limestone420645
St. Clair415855
Elmore404564
Lauderdale400454
Walker3634111
Talladega349054
Jackson313423
Colbert309342
Blount288840
Autauga271642
Franklin251033
Coffee242615
Dale231854
Dallas225932
Chilton221938
Russell22143
Covington218534
Escambia197931
Chambers176550
Tallapoosa175791
Pike158314
Clarke158019
Marion137936
Winston132323
Lawrence127336
Pickens122318
Geneva12138
Marengo121024
Bibb117317
Barbour117110
Butler115341
Randolph102021
Cherokee101524
Hale96131
Clay91124
Washington90919
Fayette89816
Henry8526
Lowndes79529
Monroe78711
Cleburne77114
Macon73122
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69419
Conecuh68414
Perry6846
Lamar6718
Wilcox63218
Sumter57722
Greene42418
Choctaw42113
Coosa3414
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