US futures fall after Facebook parent Meta slides 20% in premarket trade and Spotify tumbles on weak user projections

US futures fall after Facebook parent Meta slides 20% in premarket trade and Spotify tumbles on weak user projections
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta.REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
  • US stocks fell sharply Thursday after Meta and Spotify got hammered after disappointing quarterly results.
  • Meta tumbled 20% in the pre-market, which could translate into losses of $200 billion in value in regular market hours.

US stocks looked set for a fall on Thursday after downbeat earnings from Facebook parent Meta and Spotify rocked investor expectations that corporate performance might outweigh worries over rising interest rates.

Futures on the Dow Jones fell 0.2%, while those on the S&P 500 fell 0.9% and the Nasdaq lost 1.8% as of 4:30 a.m. ET, suggesting a notably lower open later in the day, especially for technology stocks.

Meta tumbled 21.55% to $253.40 a share in Thursday's pre-market after missing Wall Street analyst expectations on earnings and daily active users. The company predicted current-quarter revenue below analyst expectations, as Apple's privacy change to its iOS last year is expected to hurt sales sharply.

Its metaverse business lost $10 billion for the full year, and Facebook expects operating losses to "increase meaningfully" in 2022.

If Meta's over 20% drop carries on into regular market hours on Thursday, the company stands to lose $200 billion in value from its total market capitalization of around $890 billion at Wednesday's close.


"The shares were hit hard by a combination of extraordinary expenses associated with building the metaverse, along with what appears to be stagnating growth in the user base," Deutsche Bank analysts said.

Meanwhile, Spotify fell 9% in pre-market trading to $174.42 after saying it would no longer provide annual guidance. The music-streaming service, recently involved in a COVID-19 misinformation row over Joe Rogan's podcast, forecast monthly active users of 418 million in the first quarter, below the average 418.2 million analysts expected.

Before the corporate tech bellwethers reported on Wednesday, the S&P 500 had notched a four-day rally, helped by better-than-expected results from Google parent Alphabet. At its recent intraday low at the start of last week, the S&P was down by 11.40% so far this year, but by Wednesday's close it had recovered to show a loss of just 3.71%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 13% so far this year, and any expected calmer moments for tech stocks are likely to be short-lived given the jolt to the market that Meta delivered, said Susannah Streeter, markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

On the economic data front, ADP data before Friday's monthly non-farm payrolls report showed the US private sector lost 301,000 jobs in January, badly missing the median forecast for an increase of 207,000. This is down to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 playing havoc on the labor market, analysts say.


Elsewhere in Europe, indices traded mixed as investors await monetary policy updates from the Bank of England at 12 pm GMT and the European Central Bank soon after.

"The BoE is expected to hike rates again, while investors are in the dark on whether the ECB will finally climb down from its dovish insistence that inflation will likely prove transitory after hot inflation reports in January," Saxo Bank's strategy team said.

Deutsche bank's UK economist Sanjay Raja expects the BoE to follow up its December rate hike with another 25 basis points increase, taking the benchmark rate to 0.5%.

London's FTSE 100 was about flat. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 and Frankfurt's DAX each fell 0.4%.

Asian markets reacted to the after-hours losses in the US in thin holiday trade, with markets in China and Hong Kong shut for the Lunar New Year holiday. Tokyo's Nikkei closed 1% lower.


Read More: Warren Buffett is facing the twin challenges of inflation and rate hikes this year. Veteran investor Tom Russo lays out 8 reasons why he expects the billionaire to triumph.