The largest selloff in technology markets since the fall of 2020 sent US equity indexes tumbling, stopping a four-day rally.
The nasdaq 100 plunged 4.2% and the S&P 500 fell 2.4% as Facebook-owner Meta platforms suffered a historic collapse that depleted its worth by more than $250 billion.
However, the gloomy mood was brightened slightly in late trading after Amazon results drove shares of the online retailer up 15%. Amazon, the third largest business in the S&P 500, has a market valuation that is nearly $1.5 trillion, which is more than double that of Meta. Snap Inc. gained 30% after reporting strong profits.
The drops came as investors processed the European Central Bank's concerns over stubbornly high inflation, as well as Christine Lagarde's hawkish statements. The euro has risen in value, as have European bond yields. Treasuries in the United States declined in tandem with the eurozone, and the dollar sank.
Investors who had banked on a robust earnings season to keep equities appealing and counter some of their lingering concerns, such as tightening monetary policy, were rocked by dismal data from U.S. tech titans such as Spotify Technology SA. Markets have swung wildly, and stocks have suffered losses this year as policymakers reduce the stimulus to combat inflation.
In Europe, the Bank of England raised its benchmark interest rate and hinted that it would begin selling off its bond holdings. Meanwhile, the ECB maintained its interest rates and announced that net purchases under its emergency support program will terminate in March.
Lagarde predicted that inflation will remain high for a longer period of time, but that the bank was getting "far closer" to its inflation target. Germany's two-year yield reached a new high in 2015. The Stoxx Europe 600 index has dropped below its 100-day moving average.
In January, growth in the United States' services sector slowed to its worst rate in in a year. Meanwhile, initial unemployment claims in the United States declined more than expected last week to 238,000, ahead of Friday's payroll statistics.