Dow plunges in late-session reversal; Facebook falls 3.9%

Updated: Facebook shares have fallen more than 20% in less than a week as data privacy concerns mount.

Global sharemarkets have rebounded after last week’s steep slump but Wall Street has had a late-session change of mind.

After rising as much as 243 points in early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged in the final hour of trading for a 600-plus point reversal.

The Dow is down 423 points, or 1.9%, to 23,773 points. The S&P 500 has dropped 2.0% to 2604 and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite has plunged 3.3% to 6981.

Shares of Facebook, grappling with the fallout over contentions related to user data, have plummeted 3.9%, taking its losses to more than 20% in less than a week.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is expected to appear before a congressional committee on April 10 to discuss data privacy issues but he has refused a similar request from the UK Parliament.  

Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial, says the recent downturn based on trade ware fears offers buying opportunities.

“The bottom line is still the tariffs are a near-term worry, sure, but the global economy’s still on a really firm footing,” he says.

Others see the stock swings as a consequence of investor pessimism and broadly healthy equity-market performance.

“The market seemed to be assuming the worst-case scenario,” says Geoffrey Yu, head of the UK investment office at UBS Wealth Management.

“That they responded this way may reflect overall positioning because we’ve had quite a good run and that correction was a bit stronger than expected,

“That volatility is going to continue due to [central bank] renormalisation.”

European corporate deals
European stocks rebounded, with the Stoxx Europe 600 climbing 1.1% and more than recouping its Monday decline.

France's CAC 40 rose 1.0%, Germany's DAX added 1.7% and the UK's FTSE 100 was up 1.6%.

Pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline climbed 5% after buying Novartis’ 36.5% stake in its healthcare joint venture for $US13 billion. Novartis shares rose 1.5%.

Shares in Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel rose 3.5% after the company confirmed the $US12.6 billion sale of its specialty chemicals arm to a Carlyle Group-led consortium.

Casino’s upmarket Monoprix chain became the first local retailer to agree to sell groceries via Amazon. Amazon and Casino are also negotiating a deal in Brazil either partnering or selling Casino’s local appliance and electronics chain Via Varejo. Paris-listed Casino shares rose as much as 9.7%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.1% higher and the tech-heavy Shenzhen composite index rose 2.2%.

Taiwan’s Taiex climbed 1.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.8% and Japan’s Nikkei closed 2.7% higher, clawing back more of Friday’s 4.5% plunge. 

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