Tech stocks look like a Taylor Swift concert right now. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, Groupon, and King (the makers of Candy Crush) were all in the red this morning. Twitter continues to hit record lows after insiders were finally allowed to cash out. Yesterday 134 million shares were traded, more than seven times the normal volume.
According to Bloomberg, Twitter "led a selloff in Internet shares." But comments from the Federal Reserve Chair also seem to have spooked investors. Janet Yellen "repeatedly refused" to say when the Fed would increase in its benchmark short-term interest rate. Back in March, Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures said startup valuations would stay extreme "as long as the global economy is weak and rates are low."
Tech giants like AOL fell right along with upstarts. TechCrunch seemed downright offended that King and Twitter are being "roughed up" by Wall Street, insisting that the skepticism is "Market sentiment, apparently." But King has never really answered the question: Why do you think you won't end up like Zynga? And while Twitter beat some analysts estimates, it's still trying to live up to its own hype.
The tech industry was thrilled with "market sentiment" regarding profitless startups when it worked in their favor when it handed them baseless valuations. But since Twitter isn't going to be the next Facebook, Wall Street is suddenly thinking about "value," like actual value, not the venture capital kind.
"You're seeing a brutal shift from growth and momentum investing to more value-based investing,"Chad Morganlander, a fund manager at Stifel Nicolaus & Co., which oversees more than $150 billion, said in a phone interview from Florham Park, New Jersey. "The momentum stocks are ridiculously overvalued, but nonetheless, the overall broader market is fairly valued. Any kind of shift in momentum does spook investors."
"It seems the market is heavy," Bill Schultz, chief investment officer who oversees about $1.1 billion at McQueen Ball & Associates in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, said in a phone interview. "You have more of the slightly riskier stocks that have run into trouble here, in particular tech and biotech. Today, the financials are under pressure."
"I feel and see a pretty big pause," Paul Boyd, managing partner at ClearPath Partners, told MarketWatch. "It's not an unhealthy thing. It's not a fear factor thing. It's like a reset of the clock. … The capital markets seem to be pausing right now and taking an analysis of the landscape."
Does that mean this is the first time Wall Street has decided to lift up its head and take a look around?
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