By Jon Swartz
The joy ride for internet stocks took a temporary detour on Monday.
Shares of industry stalwarts Facebook Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -2.38% , Alphabet Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -0.67% /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -0.60% Google, Snap Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205087158/composite SNAP -1.89% , and others tumbled after China allowed its yuan currency to fall to a more-than-10-year low versus the dollar in an escalating trade war with the U.S.
All three stocks declined at least 3% — reversing for one day their gains the past week following a series of positive results that pushed their shares up. Shares of the companies, whose rising customer memberships have propelled advertising revenue to record levels, are all up at least 10% in 2019.
To add to their woes, Facebook and Twitter Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR -1.57% were punished following shootings over the weekend that have investors jittery over intensified government oversight of the two social-media platforms. Twitter finished the day down 5.8%, which would be its biggest one-day decline since February. Facebook has dropped 3.8%.
Until today, Facebook appeared impervious to market machinations and regulatory oversight. That stock has climbed about 40% this year despite a record $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission; a report last week the FTC is examining Facebook’s acquisitions as part of a broader antitrust investigation of the social-networking giant; and withering scrutiny from state and national lawmakers. One presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has vowed to break up Facebook and Google, with no apparent impact on either stock.
Shares of two other Big Tech companies under the regulatory microscope — Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.48% and Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -1.68% — also were battered. Apple, which relies heavily on China to manufacture iPhones, Macintoshes and other hardware products, suffered the sharpest decline. Its stock dove 5.2%.