Nasdaq Ends Worst Week Since Pandemic Onset as Netflix Leads Tech Rout

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Nasdaq Ends Worst Week Since Pandemic Onset as Netflix Leads Tech Rout
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Nasdaq slumped below the 14,000 level Friday, suffering its worst weekly loss since March 2020 as sentiment on tech was further soured by a slump in Netflix following disappointing quarterly results.

The NASDAQ Composite slumped 2.7%, taking its weekly losses to about 7.5%. The S&P 500 fell 1.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.3%, or 450 points.

Sentiment on tech was hurt as Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) kicked off the start of quarterly earnings for big tech with disappointing guidance that sent its shares plummeting about 22%.

Netflix reported earnings that topped expectations, and revenue that was in-line, but its fiscal first quarter forecast for subscriber growth fell short of estimates, raising worries about peaking growth in the U.S. and Canada.

“Netflix’s first mover advantage and large subscriber base provides the company with a nearly insurmountable competitive advantage over its streaming peers. However, Netflix appears to have hit a ceiling on subscribers in UCAN,” Wedbush said in a note after reiterating its underperform rating and $342 on the stock.

The slump in Netflix sent shockwaves across media stocks. ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC ), Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) and Discovery (NASDAQ: DISCA ) were under pressure.

Semiconductor stocks fell 1.7%, but dip-buying was seen in Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN ) and NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ: NXPI ) ending the day in the green.

Materials also added to the broader market slump, paced by a more than 8% dip in Ecolab (NYSE: ECL ) after the company cut its fourth quarter guidance following the impact of ongoing supply chain disruptions. (NASDAQ: AMZN ), Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ), and Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY ) were the biggest drag on the consumer discretionary sector.

Etsy Inc (NASDAQ: ETSY ) fell more than 6% as Oppenheimer cut its price target on the stock to $225 from $285, citing a “decline in comparable valuations.”

Consumer staples - a defensive concern of the market - was the sole sector to end the day above the flatline. 

The broader market move lower coincided with a bolt of volatility that could be exacerbated by the expiring of single stock options totaling about $1.28 trillion later on Friday.

In other news, Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ: PTON ) jumped 11% following a rout a day earlier after the company pre-reported higher revenue for fiscal Q2 of $1.14 billion, up from $1.06 billion a year ago.

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