Wall Street sank on Tuesday, giving back earlier gains in a choppy trading session that saw losses accelerate late as tech stocks plunged, sending the benchmark measures down for a fourth decline in five days.
Equities struggled to keep up the momentum from Monday’s surge that saw the measures recover some of last week’s steep selling. But with declines in chipmaker NVIDIA (NVDA), social media giant Facebook (FB), and electric car company Tesla (TSLA), the Nasdaq extended its slide through the afternoon session as the tech losses eroded positive sentiment for the Dow and S&P 500.
Tech stocks had been a Wall Street darling in 2017, helping lift the benchmarks to multiple record highs. But the group is down 5.5% over the past five days, outpacing a 3.8% loss in the S&P 500. On Tuesday, the sector retreated 3.5%, leading losses among the 11 industry groups, as internet software and services stocks and semiconductor listings sank.
NVIDIA dropped 7.8% after the chipmaker suspended self-driving tests after a fatal accident in Arizona involving an Uber autonomous car. Facebook extended its selloff, declining 4.9% as Reuters said Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO, will appear before Congress to answer questions on data privacy.
Stocks had faced sharp selling pressure last week amid the Facebook controversy and as worries weighed about the chances of a trade war between the U.S. and China. The White House said Tuesday it had reached a trade deal in principle with South Korea and CNBC cited Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as saying dialogue with China is ongoing.