Facebook may be heading for its worst day on the markets in its history a day after the company revealed that user growth, amid swirling questions about how their information is used, has slowed.
A steep sell-off in Facebook is leading a slide in technology stocks that weighed on US indexes in early trading Thursday. The FANG stocks this month beat out shorts of emerging market equity funds and investors buying oil as the most popular trade on the globe.
"It's a shock what happened to Facebook, but that little improvement in the trade picture and the continuation of the earnings results have just been spectacular", said Ted Theodore, portfolio manager at TrimTabs Asset Management.
The S&P 500 index slid 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,839 as of 10:09 a.m.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 112 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,527.
About 25 minutes into trading, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was at 7,840.20, down 1.2%, falling from Wednesday's record close.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major indexes in Europe rose.
Technology companies led the rally, which gave the S&P 500 its third consecutive gain in a row and nudged the Nasdaq composite index to an all-time high.
The company also warned that it expects revenue growth to decelerate in the next couple of quarters as it promotes new, and for now less profitable, products- such as its Stories disappearing message feature. All told, $119 billion of its value was wiped out, eclipsing a $91 billion loss for Intel in September 2000, according to Birinyi Associates.
"For such a big company to suffer such a significant decrease in price is really incredible to watch", said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.
Germany's DAX added 0.5 per cent to 12,874 and the CAC 40 in France was up 0.4 per cent at 5,501.
Other stocks benefited from news President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work towards eliminating trade barriers on industrial goods. Also weighing down the Nasdaq were Align Technology Inc, which lost 4.4%, Electronic Arts, which dropped 2.4%, and Amazon.com, which was down 2.3%.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 31 cents to $69.30 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.04 yen from 110.83 on yen Wednesday.
Coca-Cola rose 1.5 percent after its quarterly sales and profit beat estimates. Boeing shares closed down 0.7 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6 percent.
Mastercard declined 2.8 percent and Visa fell 1.5 percent despite the payments processors topping profit estimates.