Nasdaq 'Tech Wreck' Cuts Web Giants' Value
The value of some of technology's best-known companies is continuing to tumble in what is being called Nasdaq's 'tech wreck'.
A decline that has lasted for a number of weeks has accelerated in recent days - with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google being hit hardest.
Other tech-related internet stocks, including online retailers, have also declined worldwide in what some see as an overdue market correction in a wider 'risk off' investment environment.
The past three days have seen the tech-heavy Nasdaq's biggest three-day percentage fall since November 2011.
Social networking site Facebook peaked at $72.03 (£43.11) per share on March 10, but fell to $56.95 (£34.09) on Monday.
That translates to a $36.61bn (£22bn) lower market value.
Twitter is down 42% from a peak of $73.31 (£43.88) on December 26 - equating to a $11.3bn (£6.8bn) lower market cap.
Google is down to $540.60 (£323.58) from a peak of $610.40 (£367.07) on March 6, while LinkedIn is down to $159.65 (£95.56) from an October 18 peak of $250.20 (£149.76).
Technology companies are still growing faster than the rest of the economy, but their earnings are not increasing at the rate they once were.
Microsoft, for example, is only expected to increase earnings 3.4% this year, while a jump of only 2.8% is expected at Apple.
There are also fears that popular up-and-coming technology companies may be over-valued.
The recent flurry of tech IPOs demonstrated growing nerves - with King Entertainment's value plunging 15% on its NYSE debut last month, as investors betrayed fears on whether the Dublin-based maker of mobile game Candy Crush Saga was likely to repeat the success.
Analysts say traders are now moving money from growth stocks to dividend-paying shares such as utilities, demonstrating a greater appetite for steady earnings over risk.