The Dow Jones Industrial Average and other major U.S. stock indices did a swan dive Monday for the second consecutive trading day, putting a dent in most media and tech shares.
The Dow finished out the day down 1,175 points, or a 4.6% plunge in value after hitting a historic high on Jan. 26 of 26,616.7 points. On Monday the Dow was down as much as 1,500 points around 3 p.m. ET before recovering to a loss hovering in the 700-900 point range. But in the final minutes the selloff blew through the 1,000-point benchmark again. That marked the worst loss in the Dow’s history on a total points basis although not on a percentage basis. On Oct. 15, 2008, a the start of the mortgage meltdown and recession, the Dow sank 7.8%.
Monday’s volatility follows a more than 450-point drop on Friday — which marked the biggest one-day drop since the passage of the Brexit referendum fueled investor jitters in June 2016. Even high fliers such as Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon could not avoid the downturn Monday when the major stock indices were in the red from the start of trading.
The NASDAQ dropped 3.8% to close at 6967.53. The S&P 500 was off 4.1% to 2,648.94.
Netflix, which enjoyed an 8% spike after reporting strong Q4 2017 earnings on Jan. 22, fell nearly 5% to close at $254.26. Amazon eased 2.8% to close at $1,390. Facebook fell 4.7% to $181.26. Apple gave up 2.5% to close at $156.49.
Sony Corp. fell 5.8% (closing at $49) on the heels of Thursday’s news that Kazuo Hirai would hand the CEO reins to his deputy, CFO Kenichiro Yoshida, as of April 1.
Disney ($1047.78), Comcast ($39.20), AMC Networks ($48.91), AT&T ($36.63), and Viacom ($31.14) were among the media giants taking a hit of 3%-5% or more. CBS on Friday lost 6% in the selloff but was more resilient on Monday with a 2.4% drop to close at $54.08. Time Warner ($95.35), 21st Century Fox ($35.56) and Lionsgate ($33.15) held the line at losses of 2% or less.
Wall Street observers are pegging the losses to investor concerns about rising interest rates and the potential for inflation to pick up steam in a generally strong economy. There’s also concern that the tax reform legislation passed last month will add significantly to the federal debt load, which will put pressure on imports, exports and on the financial markets.