Technology stocks just capped off their worst month since the depths of the recession a decade ago.
The Nasdaq plunged 9.2 percent in October, its steepest monthly drop since a 10.8 percent decline in November 2008. At that time the financial markets were in crisis and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was at the tail end of a six-month slump, during which the index lost more than 40 percent of its value.
All the biggest tech stocks suffered big losses in October, led by Amazon’s 20 percent decline and Alphabet’s 9.7 percent drop.
Investors pulled away from the stocks that have delivered the best returns in recent years, as concerns about President Trump’s trade war and rising interest rates sent fund managers into assets that are perceived as safer should the economy turn.
The tech sector certainly wasn’t alone in October. Eight of the 10 subgroups of the S&P 500 fell, led by energy and consumer discretionary stocks, which dropped more than the tech group. The broader S&P 500 declined 6.9 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 5.1 percent.
But tech has an outsize impact on the market as a whole, because five of the six most valuable U.S. companies are from that sector and hail from either Silicon Valley or the Seattle area.
Apple will be the last of the big five to report quarterly earnings, when the iPhone maker announces results on Thursday. Facebook reported mixed results on Tuesday, with earnings per share beating estimates but revenue falling short. Amazon and Alphabet plunged last week on disappointing numbers, while Microsoft rose on better-than-expected earnings but still fell for the week.