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Feb 21, 2018

Facebook lagging as tech stocks lead market recovery

'Fake news' is the story of our time: Bruce Croxon

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There’s one notable name missing from the technology-led recovery in U.S. stocks: Facebook Inc.

The social-media giant has gained less than 3 per cent since Feb. 8, the day equity markets saw the trough of their worst selloff in two years. That puts it far behind other large-cap peers such as Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc., which have all risen at least 9 per cent in the same period. Apple Inc. has advanced 11 percent.

Tech stocks are leading the recovery after a rout that sent the S&P 500 Index to its first 10 per cent correction in two years. The 68-member S&P 500 Information Technology index is close to recouping losses from the plunge and is up 8.8 per cent since Feb. 8. Financials are the next best performing sector with a gain of 6.5 per cent over that period.

The company led by Mark Zuckerberg is grappling with declining user engagement, while fourth-quarter earnings revealed that growth in daily active users was the slowest ever. While Wall Street analysts defended the company after its results, the muted share-price trend compared with peers in the past two weeks indicates that some investors might not be convinced.