FAANG Stocks Fall as Reports of Government Investigations Scare Investors

The internet heavyweights were all down sharply as various media reported that the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission were planning to launch investigations of the companies. Facebook was down 7.51 percent, Alphabet Inc.(parent of Google) fell 6.11 percent and Amazon.com dropped 4.62 percent. Netflix, not under government scrutiny, was down a more modest 1.94 percent.

The rout in tech stocks led to a 2.04 percent loss for the Entrepreneur Index™. The Nasdaq composite index was also down 1.61 percent. The Dow with a late surge gained 0.02 percent while the S&P 500 index fell 0.28 percent.

Other technology stocks down big on the day included Twitter (-5.52 percent), salesforce.com (-4.17 percent), Adobe Systems Inc. (-4.38 percent) and Versign Inc. (-2.9 percent).

Casino-operator Wynn Resorts had the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ outside the technology sector. The stock fell 3.5 percent despite another month of positive growth in overall gaming revenue in Macau. Wynn derives about 70 percent of its revenue from the former Portuguese colony.

Tesla’s stock was down 3.43 percent after a Bernstein analyst covering European carmakers said he didn’t believe any of them would be interested in buying Tesla. The stock is down 46.2 percent this year and the company now has a market capitalization of $31.6 billion.

Chipotle Mexican Grill also fell sharply after it warned that potential tariffs against Mexico could dramatically raise costs that were already rising. The shares were down 2.77 percent today but are still up 48.6 percent this year.

The prospect of more tariffs and declining global trade continued to hit confidence in the economy. The recent plunge in the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond continued with rates falling six basis points to 2.08 percent today. The price of oil, also down dramatically in the last two weeks, fell another 1.23 percent today. Shares in oil and gas producer Hess Corp. dropped 2.02 percent. They have fallen nearly eighteen percent in the last two weeks but are still up 35.1 percent this year.

Bed Bath & Beyond had the biggest gain on the index, rising 3.62 percent. The specialty retailer’s shares have fallen by roughly one third since early April. They dropped late last week after the company announced an agreement with three activist investors who have been pressuring for changes at the company. BBBY continues to look for a new CEO.

The food-makers Tyson Foods (2.86 percent) and J.M. Smucker Company (2.25 percent) had good gains today. Both stocks were down significantly last week. Other notable gains on the index included Under Armour Inc. (3.38 percent), Ralph Lauren Corp. (2.02 percent), Aflac Inc. (2.2 percent) and Estee Lauder Companies (1.94 percent).

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