The stocks we used to refer to as high-fliers spent most of Friday getting shot down. In the first few minutes of trading, the Dow and the SP edged into record territory, but then the market turned lower with a vengeance. The Nasdaq took the biggest hit, sliding 2½ percent, one of its worst days in the past two years. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 159 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) tumbled 110 and the Standard Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) lost 23 points.
Many of the technology and biotech stocks that led the Nasdaq to big gains over the past two years were among those leading the decline.
Facebook (FB) fell 4 percent. It’s now lost 17 percent in the past month. Google (GOOG) and Netflix (NFLX) also lost more than 4 percent on the day. And Amazon (AMZN) dropped 3 percent. Over the past three months, it’s down 18 percent.
All of these stocks are referred to as momentum plays. On the way up, their big gains brought in more buyers. But now that momentum is working in reverse.
Chipmaker Micron Technology (MU) dropped 6 percent, even though its quarterly results beat expectations.
As for the biotechs, the iShares ETF tumbled 4 percent. The list of losers is long, including Celgene (CELG) and Biogen (BIIB) fell down 4 percent; Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and Illumina (ILMN) lost 7 percent each.
And Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO) plunged 27 percent after the company halted enrollment in its study of a drug to treat pancreatic cancer.
Elsewhere, E*Trade (ETFC) slid another 8 percent. With all of the hullabaloo over high frequency trading this week, there’s concern about new regulations that could cut into the firm’s trading volume.
The big winners of the day were a trio of initial public offerings. The food delivery firm GrubHub (GRUB) jumped 34 percent from its IPO price. Energy software company Opower (OPWR) rose 21 percent. And IMS Health (IMS) rose 17 percent from its initial pricing.
What to Watch Monday:
- The Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for February at 3 p.m. Eastern time.
–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.