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Wall Street sours on Silicon Valley, battering tech stocks

SAN FRANCISCO – Investors for years have apparently loved technology stocks as much as most people love their smartphones.

But Wall Street has suddenly soured on Silicon Valley and the rest of the technology, triggering a stomach disruptive downturn in a turbulent October.

Some of the hardest hit stocks belong to five companies – Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. They have accumulated attracted billions for their products, carving out lucrative markets they dominate each other in an increasingly digital world. Investors locked to success and gave them their own acronym, "FAANG." (It is still in use even though Google now operates under the stock of its parent Alphabet Inc.)

For a difference a month does. Since late September, individual FAANG shares have dropped between 4 percent and 20 percent, and aggregate grows nearly 400 billion dollars in paper riches.

The decline may seem unclear, as Apple's iPhone sales flourish, online shopping traffic continues to send more consumers to Amazon, people still ask Google to enlighten and direct them, people continue to post on Facebook, and Netflix has never been a more popular entertainment destination.

But these companies are facing increasing challenges. President Donald Trump has escalated a trade war with China, for example, and governments are beginning to consider tougher regulations that can slow down the influence of techs. Employees of some major technological concerns are increasingly tightening their contributions to military and immigration-related projects.

Much of it causes concern that the technical companies will not grow as much and as quickly as the investors had expected. "We are starting to see the fork-in-road situation for technology," said Wedbush Securities analysts Daniel Ives.

Investors currently predict that it will be an uneven path. The tech-driven Nasdaq index is 1[ads1]2 percent below the high it reached in August.

The big name-technical stocks have been so good for so long that investors have invested in even bigger things to come from the companies. These efforts may take longer to pay off, or worse, fizzle completely for example, if a slow economy or recession is undermining their future growth.

For example, Facebook and Google may not attract so many new users to their free digital services, and the advertising that generates most of their earnings may scare away.

For Amazon, it may mean that consumers limit their spending on goods at the e-commerce site or decide that they do not really need an Internet-connected speaker like Echo after all. Netflix can have more probes Lems to attract subscribers, and may even begin to see more cancellations if households feel pressured.

Rising interest rates also weigh on stock prices, analysts say. Higher prices reduce the present value of future corporate earnings, which again undermines the justification for high valuations – and high stock prices – by technology companies.

These valuations are usually measured by price-to-earnings ratio – the amount investors are willing to pay for each dollar of expected earnings. Consider Netflix, a company that began to rent DVDs by mail in the late 1990s, and which was no longer considered worth more than Walt Disney Co. and Magic Kingdom.

Even after the last department, the Netflix Price-to-Performance ratio was $ 107 for every $ 1 in earnings. By comparison, Disney's a cheaper $ 14 for every $ 1 in earnings – and it's now worth $ 37 billion more than Netflix.

The long technology rally increased two members of the FAANG club – Apple and Amazon – at trillion dollar market values, making them the first American companies to reach that milestone.

But Amazon's market capitalization is now below $ 800 billion. Apple can also be knocked out of the $ 1 billion club if revenues for the last quarter disappoint investors like Amazon and Alphabet reported this week.

"There are many white bones out there right now, so all eyes are on Apple to appear like the knight in shining armor," said Ives.

Apple's fourth quarter fourth quarter report is scheduled to be released 1 Analysts expect Apple to earn $ 13.5 billion for July-September quarter, or about $ 6 million every hour.

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