Netflix suffered its worst day of trading in nearly two years on Monday amid concerns about the escalating U.S.-China trade conflict and the sudden departure of the company’s top communications executive.
The streaming giant was one of several tech-focused companies that saw shares sink after multiple outlets reported that the Trump administration was preparing to impose limits on Chinese investments in U.S. tech firms and technology exports to China. U.S. markets fell even as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin characterized the reports as “false, fake news.”
Netflix shares fell about 6.5% to $384.48, marking the company’s largest single-day percentage decline since July 19, 2016. The company’s stock has now fallen in three consecutive days of trading.
The reports went public in the first day of trading since Netflix said it had fired Jonathan Friedland, its chief communications officer, after he purportedly used racial slurs on at least two occasions during meetings with company employees. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed Friedland’s departure in a memo to staffers last Friday and said his conduct had demonstrated “unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity.”
Shares declined just days after Netflix’s stock reached an all-time high, with multiple Wall Street firms raising their price targets for the company. The streaming giant has 125 million paid subscribers globally.
Even with Monday’s declines, Netflix shares are up more than 9% so far this month and more than 100% so far this year.