Tech leads stock retreat from record highs as conservative censorship hits Twitter, Facebook

Twitter shares tumbled after company suspended President Trump's account

U.S. equity markets fell Monday as investors weighed Big Tech's censorship of President Trump and other conservative voices.

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The Nasdaq Composite led the drop falling over 1.25%, dragging down the Nasdaq 100 Index, as well as communications and service stocks.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12998.502287-114.14-0.87%
XLKTECHNOLOGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF127.39-1.30-1.01%
QQQINVESCO QQQ NASDAQ 100311.86-2.49-0.79%

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 89 points, or 0.29% and the S&P 500 slipped 0.66%. All three of the major averages finished Friday in record territory.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES30814.26-177.26-0.57%
SP500S&P 5003768.25-27.29-0.72%

On Capitol Hill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Sunday the House of Representatives would on Tuesday forge ahead with impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. She called Trump an “imminent threat" for his actions surrounding the riots on Capitol Hill.

Hence the fallout in the technology sector.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TWTRTWITTER INC.45.18-0.61-1.33%
FBFACEBOOK INC.251.36+5.72+2.33%

Twitter Inc. shares were sharply lower after the social media platform suspended Trump’s account in a move the company said was made to prevent further violence. The president had more than 88 million followers. Facebook Inc. and Google Inc.’s video-streaming service YouTube also removed Trump’s accounts from their sites.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GOOGALPHABET INC.1,736.19-3.99-0.23%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.3,104.25-23.22-0.74%
SHOPSHOPIFY INC1,170.47-8.39-0.71%

Amazon Inc. shares dipped after social-media platform Parler sued the e-commerce giant, alleging antitrust violations, following its removal from the cloud-hosting service Amazon Web Services. Parler, which has seen a wave of new users following Twitter's censorship of Trump and other conservatives, says it is being discriminated against by Amazon, which last week signed a web-hosting agreement with Twitter. Shopify also took a hit as it previously suspended the sale of Trump merchandise.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.212.65-0.37-0.17%
VVISA INC.201.59-0.27-0.13%
CCITIGROUP INC.64.23-4.78-6.93%

Multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, Visa and Citigroup to name a few, came out over the weekend and Monday noting plans to reviews to suspend political donations.

In deal news, Staples parent, USR made an offer to acquire Office Depot and Office Max parent ODP for $40 per share sending the stock higher.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
ODPTHE ODP CORP45.85-0.07-0.16%

Elsewhere, Gilead Sciences Inc. raised its 2020 profit forecast as a new wave of COVID-19 infections has resulted in increased demand for its treatment remdesivir. The company now expects full-year earnings of $6.98 to $7.08 per share, up from $6.25 to $6.60 per share.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GILDGILEAD SCIENCES INC.63.33+0.93+1.49%
LLYELI LILLY & COMPANY190.77+4.08+2.19%

Eli Lily & Co. reported a Phase 2 trial of donanemab, an experimental antibody used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s, showed promising results.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AAPLAPPLE INC.127.14-1.77-1.37%

Meanwhile, Apple Inc. and South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. agreed to collaborate on an electric vehicle that will begin production in 2024, according to local newspaper IT Korea. Details of the reported agreement remain scarce.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
NIONIO INC.56.27-4.60-7.56%
TSLATESLA INC.826.16-18.84-2.23%

Chinese electric-car maker Nio on Saturday unveiled its fourth production model, the et7 sedan which is expected to be ready for delivery in the first quarter of 2022. Tesla shares were lower in early trading.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LULULULULEMON ATHLETICA INC.344.50-3.23-0.93%

Lululemon Athletica Inc. said quarterly sales and earnings are expected to be at the high end of its forecast after a strong holiday season.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.138.64-2.53-1.79%
CCITIGROUP INC.64.23-4.78-6.93%
WFCWELLS FARGO & COMPANY32.04-2.71-7.80%

Bank stocks will be in focus this week as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. kick off earnings season by releasing their quarterly results ahead of Friday’s opening bell.

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Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil ticked up 1 cent to $52.25 per barrel and gold climbed $15.50 to $1,849.60 an ounce.

European markets were lower across the board with Germany’s DAX 30 down 0.8%, France’s CAC 40 declining 0.78% and Britain’s FTSE 100 weaker by 1.09%.

Asian markets ended mixed with China’s Shanghai Composite falling 1.08% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edging up 0.11%. Japan's Nikkei 225 was closed for holiday.