Tech Stocks Sink, Rattling Major Stock Indexes
The days leading up to Thanksgiving have not been kind to tech stocks, which dragged down the major indexes. Early in the week, the market sank into the red for 2018. Collectively, the FAANG stocks lost about $1 trillion in market cap from recent highs.
Apple shares are down 20 percent this month, and Alphabet is in bear market territory. Meanwhile, Facebook is trying to resolve technical glitches in its ad platform, and Amazon may face stiffer competition from Walmart and Target in this year's holiday shopping season.
"Technology companies were hit after the Trump administration proposed new national security regulations that could limit exports of high-tech products in fields such as quantum computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence," writes Annabelle Liang of the Associated Press. "The S&P 500 index lost 48.84 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,641.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 551.80 points, or 2.2 percent, to 24,465.64. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 119.65 points, or 1.7 percent, to 6,908.82."
All of this raises a serious question: Is drop in tech share prices is a reflection of investor anxiety and uncertainty or an indicator of deeper problems? Will the tech sector will recover its luster, and or will the downward drift continue?
Elon Musk Draws Scrutiny From NASA After Smoking Pot During Podcast Recording
NASA officials were not amused by reports of Elon Musk smoking pot during a radio interview, and have ordered a safety review of two companies it hired to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.
"The review, to begin next year, would look at both Boeing and SpaceX, the companies under contract to fly NASA's astronauts," writes Christian Davenport of The Washington Post. "The review was prompted by the recent behavior of SpaceX's founder, Elon Musk, according to three officials with knowledge of the probe, after he took a hit of marijuana and sipped whiskey on a podcast streamed on the Internet. That rankled some at NASA's highest levels and prompted the agency to take a close look at the culture of the companies, the people said."
The safety review will likely involve hundreds of interviews with workers at the companies.
New Hacking Tool Uses Email to Avoid Detection
Analysts at cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks says Russian hackers have a new tool that can steal information from infected computers with minimal risk of detection. The firm refers to the new tool as "Cannon," and says it uses email to relay stolen information to the bad guys.
"Cannon is a piece of malicious software that hackers sneak onto target computers and use to take screenshots of the infected computer's homepage," writes Laura Hautala of CNET. "Then the software uses email to send the images back to the hackers and receive new instructions. It's like a spy camera on your computer that can send images back home, apparently to Russia."