SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Shares of streaming giant Netflix soared for several hours Thursday before joining the steep drop in Silicon Valley tech stocks as Wall Street dropped more than 1,190 points over fears of the coronavirus.
Investors turned to Netflix stock in the early trading, driving it up 2.5 percent or $9.67 a share on the belief that coronavirus fears may force Americans to remain in their homes and stay away from crowded theaters.
As the clock edged toward closing, Netflix joined the sell-off, dropping 2 percent or $7.53 a share. Big tech has lost more than $500 billion in market value since the tumble began early this week.
The other FAANG stocks — the Wall Street backbone of the Silicon Valley — all saw significant drops as coronavirus fears sent the overall market into its steepest decline since 2008.
Facebook was down 3.78 percent or $7.45 share at the closing bell. Amazon dropped 4.81 percent or $95.20 a share. Apple also took a tumble, dropping 6.54 percent or $19.13 share at mid-morning trading. Google (Alphabet) was also down 5.43 percent or $75.52 a share.
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Oakland-based Clorox — the manufacturer of cleaning and disinfectant products — had modest gain, below 1 percent of just 67 cents a share.
The market was reacting to another day of stories involving the spread of coronavirus in the United States and around the world.
Health officials have confirmed that a new coronavirus case of unknown origin has been diagnosed in Solano County. An official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the diagnosis late Wednesday afternoon. The patient is receiving medical care at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, UC Davis.
Microsoft and Budweiser maker InBev became the latest large companies to warn investors about the virus’ potential hit to its finances. Meanwhile nations are taking increasingly drastic measures to try and contain the outbreak and the fears over the potential spread in the U.S. are rising.
The bond market saw similar volatility, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury at one point falling to another all-time low. Low yields are a sign that investors are feeling less confident about the strength of the economy going forward.
“People can demand things that feel safe for irrational amounts of time,” said Katy Kaminski, chief research strategist at AlphaSimplex Group. “It doesn’t matter, the fundamentals, when people are worried.”