News Column

Tech stocks under pressure

May 7, 2014

By Roger Yu, @RogerJYu, USA TODAY

The seemingly decent showing on Wall Street Wednesday masked a nasty day for technology stocks -- especially some marquee names.

The Dow Jones industrials and Standard & Poor's 500 rallied 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively. The tech-heavy Nasdaq bucked the trend, yet fell just 0.3%.

The story was far different for the likes of Twitter, Amazon, AOL, Facebook, Groupon and Yahoo. Twitter was a prime example as its shares fell nearly 4%. That came on top of a 17% plunge Tuesday, the first day inside shareholders were allowed to cash out when the six-month lock-up period expired following the social network's initial public offering in November.

It was emblematic of a broader shift taking place as investors pull out of what had been some of the hottest stocks earlier this year.

"You're seeing a brutal shift from growth-and-momentum investing to more value-based investing," Chad Morganlander, a fund manager at Stifel Nicolaus, told Bloomberg News.

AOL and Groupon were other big losers Wednesday, in each case falling as investors reacted to their tepid earnings reports.

Shares of AOL shed 21% of their value after it reported a 64% drop in first-quarter net income. They closed at $34.85.

AOL's single largest source of revenue -- display and search ads on AOL-owned digital properties, including Huffington Post and TechCrunch -- were down 2% from a year ago to $233.6 million. AOL's adjusted earnings per share of 34 cents missed analysts' estimate of 45 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.

Investors continued to dump Groupon shares after the online coupon company said Tuesday that its first-quarter net loss widened to $37.7 million from $4 million a year ago. Groupon shares ended down 21% Wednesday to $5.33.

Yahoo, too, came under pressure -- down 6.6% to $34.07 -- despite the cash windfall it'll receive from its investment in Alibaba, which announced its IPO plans Tuesday.

Amazon shares ended down 1.6% to $292.71 as investors weigh the effects of its heavy digital media investment on the bottom line. Facebook shares declined 2% to $57.39.

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Source: USA Today

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