Here Are  Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • At one point in the session, the VIX Index was up more than 20% reports TheStreet's Anders Keitz.
  • With its sharp decline Monday, the Dow turned negative for 2018 after entering the day up 0.9%.
  • The Dow is now more than 2,000 points from its all-time high reached on Jan. 26.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks fell sharply on Monday, March 19, as Wall Street prepped for what could be the first of as many of four rate hikes from the Federal Reserve later this week and Facebook Inc. (FB) was in hot water over reports that as many as 50 million of its users may have had their data compromised.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 335 points, or 1.35%. The S&P 500 declined 1.42% and the Nasdaq finished down 1.84% as Facebook shares tumbled 6.8%.

Leading the Dow lower were Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and DowDupont Inc. (DWDP) .

Action Alerts Plus holding Facebook disclosed over the weekend that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which had ties to the Trump campaign, improperly obtained and failed to destroy private data on 50 million users. Lawmakers called it a data breach and said  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg should testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Facebook said that Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan, who used an app on the social media network to gather information from 270,000 users who volunteered for a "personality test,"  lied to the company when he then shared that data, as well as information on the volunteers' friends, with Cambridge Analytica, which then allegedly used it on behalf of the 2016 election campaign of Donald Trump. News of the potential misuse of the data was first reported by The New York Times.

"The claim that this is a data breach is completely false," said Paul Grewal, Facebook's vice president and general counsel. "Aleksandr Kogan requested and gained access to information from users who chose to sign up to his app, and everyone involved gave their consent. People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked."

Scott Kessler of CFRA Research kept a buy rating on Facebook but said the firm sees "regulatory and reputational risks."

The Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday, March 20, and it's widely expected the central bank will hike rates by a quarter percentage point. Wall Street, however, may be more interested in whether the Fed will boost its forecast for rate hikes this year to four from previous forecasts of three.

A trial over the Department of Justice's lawsuit to block AT&T Inc.'s ( T)  $85 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. ( TWX) begins this week in Washington.
 
Action Alerts Plus holding Apple Inc.  ( AAPL) is designing and producing its own device displays for the first time, using a secret manufacturing facility near its California headquarters to make small numbers of the screens for testing purposes, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the situation. The stock fell 1.5%. 
 
Tesla Inc. ( TSLA) was down 2.4% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a sell rating on the stock. TheStreet's Executive Editor Brian Sozzi said other aspects to this Goldman note were  more concerning
 
Newell Brands Inc. ( NWL)  fell 6.5% after the consumer goods company reached an agreement with activist investor Carl Icahn to appoint four of Icahn's nominees to its board.
Oracle Corp. ( ORCL) is scheduled to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell on Monday.

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel for extended interviews, Cramer Replays, feature content, and more!

Women's History Month

TheStreet talks with Wall Street's very own Lynn Tilton as part of our celebration of women's history month. Don't miss the interview below. 
 

 

More from Futures

Striking Options: Tremendous Volatility, Energy, and Equities

Striking Options: Tremendous Volatility, Energy, and Equities

3 Geopolitical Risks Traders Will Watch in 2019

3 Geopolitical Risks Traders Will Watch in 2019

Economist Perspective: Can U.S. Dollar Keep Its Momentum in 2019?

Economist Perspective: Can U.S. Dollar Keep Its Momentum in 2019?

Long-Term Rates, Not the Fed, Influence Stocks

Long-Term Rates, Not the Fed, Influence Stocks

Oil Surges After 'OPEC+' Agrees to 1.2 Million Barrel Production Cut

Oil Surges After 'OPEC+' Agrees to 1.2 Million Barrel Production Cut