Markets News & Opinions

This Is Why the Stock Market Just Suddenly Lurched Lower

Plunging technology stocks weighed on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Wednesday morning. Negative virus headlines added fuel to the fire.

  • After gaining as much as 1.5%, the S&P 500 Index turned negative Wednesday morning.
  • The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 2.1%.
  • FAANG stocks are down across the board.

U.S. stocks turned negative Wednesday morning, weighed down by plunging technology shares and negative virus headlines.

S&P 500, Nasdaq Decline; Dow Holds Gains

The large-cap S&P 500 Index reached an intraday high of 3,021.72 before pulling back sharply mid-morning. It bottomed at 2,969.75 for a decline of 1.7% from its intraday peak.

The S&P 500 Index suffered a sharp pullback Wednesday morning but has since pared most of its losses. | Chart: Yahoo Finance

Losses are concentrated in five of 11 primary sectors, with information technology leading the declines. Health care, communication services, and discretionary shares also fell sharply.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index declined by as much as 2.1% before paring losses. It was last down 1.6%.

Surging bank shares helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average buck the downtrend. The industrials benchmark rallied by as much as 360 points.

Tech Stocks Lead Declines

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are being weighed down by volatile technology shares, with all five FAANG constituents reporting declines.

As CNBC reports, shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) are all down at least 0.5%.

The S&P 500 briefly eclipsed 3,000 on Wednesday, a significant psychological and technical milestone for investors. The 3,000 level represents the index’s average price over the past 200 days.

Stocks have rebounded more than 30% from their March lows, but not everyone believes the rally can last. Analysts at JPMorgan have warned investors to brace for a significant pullback heading into the summer due to the lingering effect of government lockdown orders.

Although the U.S. economy is entering a recession, some analysts believe a “depression” is less likely:

The U.S. economy showed tentative signs of recovery midway through the second quarter, but surging unemployment claims suggest a deep recession is all but inevitable.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor is expected to show another 2.1 million jobless claims for the week ending May 23, bringing the ten-week total to over 40 million.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:58 PM

Sam Bourgi

Financial Editor of, Sam Bourgi has spent the past decade focused on economics, markets, and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE, Yahoo Finance, and Forbes. Sam is based in Ontario, Canada and can be contacted at or at LinkedIn.