What's up with Twitter's (TWTR) mysterious plunge on Thursday?
The social media stock ended off 4.3% on Thursday, after earlier losing nearly 9%, despite no official news or analysis that would spur a sell-off.
Timothy Collins, an analyst with Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus portfolio, speculated that the drop may be tied to an apparent boycott of Twitter by Fox News. While the media company still maintains a Twitter account, it hasn't tweeted since Nov. 8. Reports have suggested that the network is unhappy with Twitter because it failed to promptly removed tweets of anchor Tucker Carlson's home address curing a protest outside his home.
"While Fox may stay away for a while, I don't expect anything major to take hold. We've already been through the 'delete Facebook (FB) ' movement and I'm sure we'll see other similar actions in the future," Collins wrote. "Unfortunately, these types of issues will always exist on social media."
Social media stocks have had a rough ride in recent months, with FB plunging 37% since late July and Snap (SNAP) teetering around all-time lows at $6.48 per share. Twitter, meanwhile, has tumbled more than 35% since its July earnings report showed a drop in monthly active users, and it's possible that the specter of a boycott by conservatives on Twitter would amplify existing concerns about declining users. Over the past several months, Twitter has sought to purge inauthentic accounts and tamp down harassment and abuse on the platform.
Conservatives, including President Trump, have complained of the microblogging platform allegedly "shadow-banning" prominent conservatives through such methods as reducing their visibility in search results. Twitter has dismissed such theories.
Trump himself has shown no signs of abandoning the Twitter platform, using it Thurday to again attack Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation of possible collusion between Trump and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Twitter last saw a percentage decline greater than Thursday's on Nov. 19, when it fell 5%.
Year to date, Twitter's stock is up 33%.
"This is certainly a bump in the road for Twitter, but not the end," Collins added.