Meta Platforms led a sharp turn lower in social-media stocks Tuesday after the consumer-price index unexpectedly moved higher during August, with continuing inflation reigniting fears of a pullback in online advertising.
Shares of the Facebook parent company fell 9.4% Tuesday, their worst day since February 3, amid broad declines for U.S. stocks, particularly for big tech names. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP fell 633 points or 5.2%.
According to Dow Jones Market Data, Meta’s META stock closed Tuesday at $153.13, its lowest level since March 23, 2020. If the stock were to finish a session lower than $146.01, it would officially wipe out all of its pandemic-era gains.
Other social-media names also fell sharply, including Snap Inc. SNAP, off 7%, and Pinterest Inc. PINS, down 4.3%. Ad-dependent Alphabet Inc. GOOG GOOGL, which runs the YouTube platform and the Google suite of services, slipped 5.9%.
Meta and its social-media peers have been on a rocky ride this year amid concerns about the impacts of inflation and other economic challenges on advertiser activity. The company logged its first-ever year-over-year drop in revenue during the June quarter, with executives saying they expected overall effects on the advertising business and planned to cut costs given the climate.
Despite jitters about the advertising industry, payment-technology companies have indicated that spending remains strong, even if consumer confidence is pressured.