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Stock Market Today - 1/21: Dow Ends Down 450 Points, Netflix Slump Pressures Tech

Stocks ended sharply lower Friday as Netflix leads extended tech stock slump.

Updated at 4:02 pm EST

  • Tech stocks pace sell-off amid worst January performance for the Nasdaq since 2008.
  • Netflix plunges nearly 22%, wiping $50 billion from its market vale, after weaker-than-expected subscriber growth forecasts.
  • Peloton hits back at reports of a production halt, says it's taking action on cost cuts, profitability.
  • VIX volatility gauge extends surge, rises 50% on the week as bond yields tumble on growth concerns even as Fed vows inflation fight.
  • Oil retreats from seven-year highs on reduced demand bets, with WTI trading just north of $84 a barrel.
  • Intel unveils plans for $20 billion investment in chipmaking plants in Ohio ahead of White House meeting on semiconductor bill.

Stocks tumbled Friday, following on from a tech-lead selloff late Thursday that extended the Nasdaq's worst week in two years, as investors worry the the Fed's inflation fight will intensify just as consumer-lead growth is beginning to wane.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 450 points, or 1.30%, to 34,265, while the S&P 500 lost 1.89%. 

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite lost 2.72%, while benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields eased to 1.76%.

for the week, the Nasdaq Composite lost almost 8%. The S&P 500 lost nearly 6% and the Dow fell nearly 5%.

A gloomy demand outlook from streaming service Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. Report and a collapse in shares of Peloton  (PTON) - Get Peloton Interactive, Inc. Class A Report amid what it called a "significant" slump in interest in its connected fitness equipment added to concerns of slumping consumer demand, while a series of rate cuts in China raised the prospect of slowing growth from the world's largest exporter as it pursues its "zero-Covid" policies.

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"Wall Street has gone from debating how aggressive one should rotate out of tech into cyclicals, to sell it all," Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the Americas with Oanda. "US stocks have been on a rollercoaster ride after abysmal results from Netflix."

Set against bets of at least three rates hikes from the Fed this year -- and possibly as many as five -- the tech sector weakness bled into broader Wall Street stocks on Thursday and Friday. Traders had to navigate $1 trillion in single-stock options expirations at the close of the day and a surge in equity volatility, with the benchmark VIX undefined index rising 51.5% over the past five days.

Oil prices were also in retreat, although crude remains within comfortable touching distance of its recent seven-year highs, with reduced demand bets taking WTI crude futures for March delivery 67 cents lower to $84.88 per barrel.

Bitcoin took  another beating, falling nearly 10% -- and firmly below the $40,000 mark -- following Thursday's rejection of a Bitcion ETF from Skybridge by the Securities and Exchange Commission and plans by the Russian government to ban the use and mining of all cryptocurrencies. 

In terms of individual stocks, Netflix shares plunged nearly 20%, erasing roughly $45 billion from its market value, following a weaker-than-expected outlook for subscriber growth and the first suggestion that increased competition is affecting its ability to attract new users to its streaming platform.

Peloton shares surged 11.7% higher as the fitness equipment maker hit back at reports it's prepared to suspend production of its bikes and treadmills.

Intel  (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report shares rose after the semiconductor giant unveiled plans Friday to invest $20 billion into two chipmaking plants in Ohio that it hopes to have up-and-running within three years as it expands domestic production ahead of a meeting with White House officials.

In overseas markets, Europe's Stoxx 600 was marked at 1.84%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.9% lower on the session at 27,522.26 points.