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Tech-mageddon: Stunning Alphabet miss plunges Nasdaq into bear territory—and to its lowest level since 2020

April 27, 2022, 10:06 AM UTC

Tuesday’s 514-point selloff pushed the tech-heavy Nasdaq into bear territory for 2022—and even wiped out all of last year’s gains.

In closing at 12,490.74, the Nasdaq now sits at a level last seen in December 2020.

Put another way: that stellar 2021 performance that drove your stock portfolio to new highs? Poof. It’s gone.

Investors should brace for more volatility today. Google parent Alphabet stunned the markets with a rare revenues miss after the bell on Tuesday. The big culprit: a slowdown in YouTube advertising sales. Shares in premarket were off by more than 2.5% at 5 a.m. ET, and that’s weighing on tech stocks in general. That’s after a 3.6% drop yesterday, as investors worried (correctly) that its amazing string of growing quarters would hit a speed bump.

Nasdaq futures have been under pressure all morning. The tech index is now down 21% year to date—a bear of a performance triggered by rising interest rates and economic growth concerns that has Wall Street pros predicting there’s more pain ahead.

Looking for a silver lining, investors may want to focus on Microsoft. Its shares were up more than 5% in premarket after it delivered a big beat on Tuesday after the markets closed.

Next up to report today is Facebook parent Meta. Like Alphabet, it's seeing growing competition from TikTok, which is proving increasingly popular with the most coveted of demographics: younger users. BofA Securities tech analysts Justin Post and Joanna Zhao told investors to watch for more evidence Instagram and Facebook users are now flocking to TikTok. They call TikTok one of the five big risks to the Meta stock.

Meta shares were down 2% in premarket, a sign investors are bracing for some bad news.

Crypto and overseas markets

Across the Atlantic, the European bourses have been trading in and out of the red all morning. The energy markets are particularly turbulent on Wednesday following news Russia has cut off gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria. On cue, natural gas prices jumped more than 10% in the past 24 hours.

A further worrying sign for investors: The safe-haven dollar and gold continue to climb. Bitcoin is breaking ranks, for now. Cryptocurrencies lately have traded in tandem with tech, but are outperforming the Nasdaq this morning. Bitcoin traded at $39,000 at 5 a.m. ET.

Check out this Fortune must-read: “Oil is entering a New World Order. Here are the big winners and losers”