Tech Stocks Get Rekt

The return of volatility to the stock market has brought with it jarring lurches in the value of public companies, leading to all sorts of scary headlines.

Today was just that sort of day. As the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 150, then 300, 500, and 600 points before bottoming out and wrapping the day off 424.5 points or 1.74 percent. The Nasdaq shed a similar 1.70 percent, while the S&P 500 dunked 1.34 percent on itself.

It was a disgusting, yucky day for stocks. And tech took a thrashing in the process. What follows is a partial damage report to get you up to speed.

Ow, Ouch, Egad

The biggest American tech companies all fell today. In order of least worst, here’s the descent (all data sourced via the Google Finance API and Google Sheets’ math found here) for the companies in percentage and market cap terms:

  • Apple: -1.38 percent, -$11.53 billion
  • Microsoft: -2.34 percent, -$16.72 billion
  • Facebook: -3.71 percent, -$17.26 billion
  • Amazon: -3.81 percent, -$27.10 billion
  • Alphabet: -4.45 percent, -$31.79 billion

That came to a total of $104.39 billion in destroyed market cap in a single session. The Big Five, as we call them, are now off an average (unweighted) of 11.50 percent from their 52-week highs, which are also all-time records.

What happened to the companies that most recently went public? Well, let’s find out (descending order, Google Finance data):

  • Zscaler: +1.04 percent
  • Dropbox: -0.58 percent
  • Zuora: -1.50 percent
  • Spotify: -1.96 percent

Apparently, no one told Zscaler that the markets were down today, but what can you tell a recent IPO that had a huge debut?

What’s happened to SaaS companies? Here we’ll see how companies that sell software on a recurring basis (like Crunchbase News’ parent company, now that I think about it) held up in today’s market meltdown.

We picked some favorites, you can extend the list as you see fit (descending order, Google Finance data):

  • Shopify: +0.19 percent
  • Twilio: -1.88 percent
  • Box: -2.14 percent
  • Atlassian: -3.00 percent
  • Yext: -3.03 percent
  • Salesforce: -3.29 percent
  • Hubspot: -3.46 percent
  • Alteryx: -4.30 percent
  • Coupa: -4.99 percent

I did find a SaaS company that was up today, so I threw it into the mix. But nearly every SaaS company that we could find was down today, often by quite a lot.

So What?

Our exercise reveals something actually interesting about the market as it is today. Normally, I’d expect that companies that were newest to the market (the recent IPOs) to be the most volatile, and that big companies would be the least volatile, due to their sheer scale and earnings history, which would put SaaS companies somewhere in the middle. After all, SaaS companies have super-predictable revenue, even if their revenue multiples can jump around over time. But, instead, big tech and SaaS are both messy today, and recent IPOs seem mostly fine.

2018 is the year where the points don’t matter and the rules are made up. Or however that phrase goes.

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