Reports of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) data breach dragged down the technology sector, causing U.S. stocks to open weaker on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened almost 200 points lower before declining down to almost 600 points by late morning. The S&P 500 Index fell by 1.1 percent, while the Nasdaq-100 Technology Sector Index fell by 2.17 percent.
Facebook shares began the selloff of the tech sector as reports of the company falling to a “data breach”, causing shares to plummet by $12 a share or 6.41 percent. A firm claimed that Facebook improperly stored its data, tied to the 2016 Trump campaign, despite the tech giant saying it had destroyed the data. Facebook shortly after released a statement regarding the allegations saying they are false.
FANG stocks fell as well, directly impacted by Facebook’s selloff. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) shares fell by 1.55 percent, Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) shares fell by 1.15 percent, and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) shares by 3.1 percent.
Other stocks in the tech sector also plummeted, such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)fell by 1.31 percent, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) fell by 2 percent, and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) fell by 4.9 percent.
The market was also impacted as investors divert their attention to the Federal Reserve, awaiting further clarification regarding interest rates. Investors are uneasy due to the expectation that interest rates are to hike, which can cause stocks to be riskier, following a two-day meeting of the central bank’s policy group, the Federal Open Market Committee, reported by the Wall Street Journal.