Dow plunges 345 points as tech shares drag

By StocksFOXBusiness

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Stocks reversed course and posted red ink Tuesday, with the Dow plunging more than 300 points, as technology names such as Twitter and Facebook dragged on the market.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 344.89 points, or 1.43%, to 23,857.71. The S&P 500 retreated 45.93 points, or 1.73%, to 2,612.62. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 211.74 points, or 2.93%, to 7,008.81.

The sell-off came a day after the Dow recorded its best single-day point gain since 2008 on fading fears of a U.S.-China trade war. The blue-chip index added 669 points on Monday, its third-biggest point gain ever, on news that U.S. and Chinese officials are in talks over trade policies.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
FBFACEBOOK INC.165.00+2.07+1.27%
TWTRTWITTER INC.28.67+0.17+0.60%
GEGENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY11.70-0.47-3.90%

But volatility picked up on Tuesday. The Dow, which climbed as much as 244 points earlier in the session, swung more than 700 points from its high to low. The CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” jumped 7.9% to 22.70 in recent trading.

Twitter shares slipped 12% after short-seller Citron Research revealed that it placed a bet against the stock due to increased regulatory risks. Twitter pushed back against the report, saying it doesn’t sell any user data. Facebook, which was down 4.9%, has come under scrutiny for its handling of user data. Merrill Lynch analysts have lowered their price target for Facebook’s stock twice in five days.

Tim Anderson, managing director at brokerage TJM Investments, noted that investors have “lingering concerns about social media companies and the issue of [halting tests] of self-driving cars,” he said on FOX Business’ “After the Bell.”

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General Electric offset some of the Dow’s losses, climbing 4.3%. The industrial conglomerate posted its best daily performance in nearly three years amid rumors that Warren Buffett is considering a stake in the troubled company.

Meanwhile, the latest economic data released on Tuesday included a reading on the housing market, which saw prices surge in January, while consumer confidence experienced a slight pullback from an 18-year high.

In commodities, gold posted its first decline in five sessions. West Texas Intermediate oil fell 30 cents, or 0.5%, to $65.25 per barrel.

FOXBusiness.com’s Leia Klingel and Ken Martin contributed to this report.

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