Facebook says it'll give users more control of their data in the wake of a huge scandal over data privacy that has hammered its stock. Picture: REUTERS
Facebook says it'll give users more control of their data in the wake of a huge scandal over data privacy that has hammered its stock. Picture: REUTERS

New York — Facebook shares dived nearly 20% early on Thursday after the company signalled that it expected weaker growth, pushing the Nasdaq decisively lower.

About 25 minutes into trading, the tech-rich Nasdaq composite index was at 7,840.20 points, down 1.2%, falling from Wednesday’s record close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% to 25,572.77, while the broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.3% to 2,838.03.

The Facebook results shifted the market’s attention from Wednesday’s pledge by US President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on trade, which had boosted markets.

Investors fled Facebook after the social network reported sharply higher profit and revenue, but signalled that it expected slower user growth, partly due to the effect of data privacy scandals.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also cautioned that profitability would be hit by additional spending to secure the network.

Other technology companies retreated, including Google parent Alphabet, Netflix and Amazon, which is scheduled to report results after the market closes on Thursday.

AFP