Facebook profile data had been misused

The US technology sector was rocked yesterday by claims that Facebook profile data had been misused, sending shares of industry leaders tumbling and raising fears about the stability of a key pillar of the bull market in US equities. Technology companies, particularly the so-called “Faang” stocks including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet, have led the market higher for the past two years on their growth prospects. However, reports that Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm employed by the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, mined the personal data of 50 million Facebook users raised the spectre of a regulatory clampdown on the sector… Facebook fell 6.8 per cent, its biggest loss in four years, while Alphabet lost more than 3 per cent and Amazon, Netflix and Apple dropped more than 1.5 per cent. The tech sector, which accounts for about a quarter of the benchmark S&P 500, dragged the index to a 1.4 per cent decline… Even with the day’s declines, the information technology sector of the S&P 500 is still the year’s top performer with a gain of 7.8 per cent to date, following a 36 per cent rise in 2017. Such sharp gains prompted concerns about high prices and a so-called crowded trade among investors, leaving the sector vulnerable to a fall.
Nicole Bullock