After Market: On Flash Crash's Anniversary, Stocks Take a Dip


Internet and social media stocks lead a broad selloff on Wall Street Tuesday. Coincidentally, it's also the anniversary of one of the scariest days in market history. On May 6, 2010, the Dow plunged nearly 1,000 points in a matter of minutes in what became known as the 'flash crash.'

The damage Tuesday was a lot less severe. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 129 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 17, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) slid 57 points.

Twitter (TWTR) has become the poster boy for social media stocks that were hyped up too much. It lost 18 percent Tuesday and has now lost nearly a third of its value in just six months. The stock is trading at its lowest level since the company went public in November. The apparent trigger for Tuesday's decline: Stock restrictions were lifted on many insiders, allowing them to sell their shares for the first time -- and sell they did.

Looking at other social media stocks: Facebook (FB) fell 4 percent and LinkedIn (LNKD) lost 5½ percent. Netflix (NFLX) fell 5 percent and Google (GOOG) declined by 2½ percent.

On the earnings front, the insurance giant AIG (AIG) fell 4 percent as net fell sharply from a year ago.

Martha Stewart Omnimedia (MSO) lost 8 percent. Revenue was weak at its publishing and broadcast operations.

On the upside, Office Depot (ODP) jumped 16 percent. Its net topped expectations and the company announced plans to close 400 underperforming stores. Anadarko Petroleum (APC) rose more than 3 percent. And DirecTV (DTV) gained 2 percent after reporting that its net fell, but still beat expectations.

Elsewhere, Athenahealth (ATHN) tumbed 14 percent after the activist investor David Einhorn said he's shorting the stock. He says it could fall by as much as 80 percent. The stock has lost about a quarter of its value in the past six months.

Merck (MRK) fell 2½ percent on news that it had agreed to sell its consumer health unit -- which includes brands such as Coppertone and Claratin -- to the German firm Bayer for more than $14 billion.

And Target (TGT) lost another 4 percent, one day after its chairman and CEO was forced to resign.

What to Watch Wednesday:
  • The Labor Department releases first-quarter productivity data at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for March at 3 p.m.
These notable companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD)
  • AOL (AOL)
  • Avis Budget Group (CAR)
  • Caesars Entertainment (CZR)
  • Dynegy (DYN)
  • FTD Cos. (FTD)
  • Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ)
  • HSBC Holdings (HSBC)
  • Humana (HUM)
  • Kelly Services (KELYA)
  • Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP)
  • Mondelez International (MDLZ)
  • Neenah Paper (NP)
  • Tesla Motors (TSLA)
  • Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA)
  • Vitamin Shoppe (VSI)
  • Zillow (Z)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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