Momentum Plays Tesla, Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, Others Get Hammered

Several of the year’s biggest momentum plays are having an especially rough day today. Shares of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) declined nearly 6% today, while Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell 5%. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) declined 3%, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) fell by nearly 5% and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) dropped by about 4% today. Also Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) fell by about 6%, and Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) fell by more than 7%.

What’s up with momentum stocks?

This is the second day in a row in which momentum stocks have declined by meaningful percentages. The NASDAQ itself also fell more than 2% amidst the momentum selloff. As Reuters notes, these large declines in names like of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is because today officials released the March jobs report, and it was fairly strong. While the NASDAQ slumped, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hit intraday record highs earlier today.

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NASDAQ stocks hit Wall Street

The top seven percentage declines in the S&P 500 were all NASDAQ names: E TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) fell by more than 8% today, leading the momentum selloff in the S&P 500. while Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) were also among the highest percentage declines. At this rate, the NASDAQ will likely have its worst day of the year so far.

Business Insider‘s Sam Ro says that today’s big selloffs are part of the current “internal correction” as investors move out of these “once high-flying momentum stocks and into more boring, yet stable large-cap stocks.”

Biotech stocks lead the way

The NASDAQ Biotechnology (NASDAQ Indices:NBI) index also slumped today, falling as much as 3.5% and going 1% lower for the week as biotechnology companies were among the biggest losers today. Since the index hit its high in late February, it has fallen by 17%.

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) was one of the biggest losers today, as it fell by 27%. While certainly not an upward momentum stock at this point, as shares have been declining over the last three months, the company had bad news today. It stated that it was temporarily stopping the enrollment of patients and dosing of its cancer drug in a trial focusing on mid-stage pancreatic cancer patients. The company said that decision was based on recommendations from an independent safety committee.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), another biotechnology stock, continued its losing trend today, falling another 3%. The stock has been falling since lawmakers in the U.S. questioned how much the company was charging for its hepatitis C drug. That move not only send Gilead shares down, but also other biotech and momentum stocks.