Nasdaq falls for fourth straight day as Netflix plunges 22%

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Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Friday, with the Nasdaq set for its fourth straight day of declines after a weak forecast from Netflix sent its shares along with other streaming companies spiraling lower.

Netflix plunged 21.6% after missing market forecast for new subscribers at the end of last year and a downbeat outlook for early 2022.

Other technology and media companies including Disney, ViacomCBS and Roku that have invested heavily in streaming also fell between 4.7% and 5.0%.

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors fell, with communication services down 2.1% at an eight-month low.

Analysts on Thursday raised doubts about business prospects of pandemic market favorites including Netflix and Peloton Interactive.

However, shares of Peloton bounced from the previous day’s fall, jumping 11.5% after its chief executive denied a report that the exercise bike maker was halting some production and raised second-quarter revenue forecast.

“The pandemic winners are under pressure and that will likely continue. If everybody already has Netflix, it’s hard to improve subscriber growth,” said John Lynch, chief investment officer for Comerica Wealth Management in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Perhaps investors’ expectations were a little stretched.”

Netflix logo is seen displayed on TV screen in this illustration photo
Analysts have begun raising doubts about the prospects of pandemic market favorites like Netflix, as investors begin banking on life beyond COVID-19.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Megacap growth companies such as Microsoft, Tesla and Apple are scheduled to report their results next week.

Wall Street’s main indexes tracked at least their third straight weekly declines, with the Nasdaq Composite set for its worst week since March 2020. The Nasdaq on Wednesday closed more than 10% below its all-time high hit in November, confirming it was in correction territory.

The tech-heavy index has come under pressure after rising Treasury yields and expectations of a more aggressive Federal Reserve in controlling inflation hit growth shares.

Closeup of the foot of someone riding a Peloton bike
Shares of Peloton, another pandemic favorite, bounced back from Thursday’s fall, jumping 11.5% after its chief executive denied a report that the exercise bike maker was halting some production.
Getty Images

The central bank’s policy meeting next week will offer more clarity on its tightening policy, after data earlier this month showed consumer prices rising to 40-year highs in December.

“While the selling seems to have slowed for now, the prospect of a week filled with big earnings and a crucial Fed meeting means there might not be a rush to buy the dip just yet,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG.

At 11:56 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 82.19 points, or 0.24%, at 34,633.20, the S&P 500 was down 28.02 points, or 0.63%, at 4,454.71 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 150.30 points, or 1.06%, at 14,003.72.

Google stock price appears on the Nasdaq marketsite
The tech-heavy Nasdaq has come under pressure amid expectations of a more aggressive Federal Reserve in controlling inflation.
Getty Images

Single stock options totaling about $1.28 trillion were set to expire, potentially driving sharp market movements and impacting stocks that have very large call positions like Apple and Tesla.

Bitcoin fell sharply, tracking other riskier assets and Russia’s proposal to ban the use and mining of cryptocurrencies, dragging down crypto-linked stocks like Hut 8 Mining and Coinbase Global more than 10%.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.91-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.14-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded five new 52-week highs and 22 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 10 new highs and 914 new lows.

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