Stocks turn red as traders retreat from tech

NYSE trader FBN AP

Wall Street had its worst day in over a month on Thursday, as investors continued to abandon high-flying technology stocks.

U.S. stocks recorded their largest single-day decline in six weeks amid pressure from the tech sector, the worst performer out of the 11 S&P sectors. Tech names have led the market’s record-setting rally this year, but recently, traders have balked at their high valuations. The FAANG stocks--Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)--all posted declines.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FB FACEBOOK, INC. 303.95 -2.58 -0.84%
AAPL APPLE, INC. 122.70 -3.21 -2.55%
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,151.36 -72.55 -2.25%
NFLX NETFLIX, INC. 486.27 -8.81 -1.78%
GOOGL ALPHABET, INC. 2,206.38 -63.68 -2.81%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 167 points, or 0.8%, to 21,287. The S&P 500 fell 21 points, or 0.9%, to 2,419. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, now on track to book a monthly loss for the first time since October, closed 90 points lower, or 1.4%, at 6,144.

The CBOE Volatility Index, known as the “fear gauge,” spiked 40% in afternoon trading to touch its highest level in more than a month.

Nymex West Texas Intermediate oil rose 19 cents, or 0.4%, to $44.93 a barrel.

In addition to tech stocks, Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) came under pressure after Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE:WBA) nixed its buyout of the drug store chain, instead agreeing to buy nearly half of Rite Aid’s stores. Rite Aid was down 26%, while Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED) fell 23%. Fred’s, a regional pharmacy, was in line to acquire more than 800 Rite Aid stores.

Traders parsed some upbeat news on economic growth, which slowed down less than originally thought. The U.S. Commerce Department revised its estimate for first-quarter gross domestic product to a 1.4% annual growth rate, up from 1.2%. Economists expected the GDP reading to remain at 1.2%.