Wall Street's 'fear index' skyrockets 38 percent after Facebook data misuse reports


US stocks dropped on Monday, with the S&P and Nasdaq suffering their worst day in just over five weeks, as concerns over increased regulation for large tech companies was spearheaded by a plunge in Facebook shares.

Stocks fell sharply on Monday, as data privacy concerns engulfed Facebook and drove a tech sell-off that weighed on the broader market, Fox Business reported.

Facebook shares fell 6 per cent and were on track for their worst day in more than three years on reports that a political consultancy that worked on President Donald Trump's campaign gained inappropriate access to data on more than 50 million users. Alphabet, Google's parent company, lost nearly 3 per cent and Microsoft fell nearly 2 per cent. The Nasdaq fell 174 points, or 2.3 percent, to 7,307.

"Some of the more salient questions investors have is, has the tone of the Fed, which this time past year was certainly more skewed towards being dovish, has it now extended to becoming more hawkish?" said Eric Freedman, chief investment officer for U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis. Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon share prices all dropped by more than 1.5 percent.

The decline is one of the biggest percentage drops to ever occur for the social network's stock, and according the Wall Street Journal, the decline also knocked Facebook out of the S&P 500's five biggest market caps.

Reports in The New York Times and The Observer say the company broke Facebook's rules by using data collected exclusively for research. In 2009, the tech sector made up 17.5 percent of the S. & P. 500.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 174 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,772.

Industrials fell 0.83 per cent ahead of the Group of 20 finance ministers' meeting, where Trump's tariffs plans are likely to dominate discussions.