Dow opens down 250 points after Big Tech moves to muzzle Trump

Shares in Big Tech firms like Twitter that have muzzled Trump and some online communities that support him were under pressure on Monday.

Shares of Twitter shed 10.6 percent at the open of trading on Wall Street after the social media platform permanently banned United States President Donald Trump's account [File: Joshua Roberts/Illustration/Reuters]
Shares of Twitter shed 10.6 percent at the open of trading on Wall Street after the social media platform permanently banned United States President Donald Trump's account [File: Joshua Roberts/Illustration/Reuters]

Investors may have stayed calm in the face of last week’s siege of the United States Capitol building by supporters of President Donald Trump, but the fallout of the insurrection and concerns about market overheating are creeping into Monday’s trading.

After reaching all-time highs last week, major US stock indexes opened in the red on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 247 points at the open of trading on Wall Street to 30,850.65.

The S&P 500 – a proxy for the health of US retirement and college savings accounts- stumbled 0.89 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.13 percent.

Investors drove US stocks higher last week, wagering that President-elect Joe Biden would more easily win Congressional backing for another round of coronavirus pandemic relief aid after Democrats cemented control over both houses of Congress.

Those hopes, combined with faith in the resilience of US democratic institutions and expectations that vaccine drives will propel a stronger economic recovery later this year, overshadowed negative sentiment following the Capitol storming on Wednesday.

But for weeks, market watchers have questioned whether investors have exercised enough caution in the face of negative developments.

And indeed, elevated caution saw share prices retreat on Monday.

Big Tech names that banned Trump from their platforms, as well as some online communities that support him, were under pressure on Monday.

Investors are mulling the possibility that the moves to muzzle Trump in the wake of last week’s events could see social media giants lose legal cover that has shielded them from liability for content that users post on their platforms.

Shares of Twitter shed 10.6 percent at the open of trading on Wall Street after the social media platform permanently banned President Trump’s account.

Facebook shares tumbled 3.8 percent after the company froze Trump’s accounts on its platforms.

And shares of Apple, Amazon.com and Google parent Alphabet were under pressure after booting the conservative Parler app from their platforms.

Source : Al Jazeera

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