Biz Break: LinkedIn’s losses may spell more doom for tech stocks

Top Of The Order: 

Remember last Friday, when LinkedIn’s stock price fell by 44 percent, wiped out $11 billion in the company’s market cap, and took the worst mauling since  Leonardo DiCaprio went up against that bear in “The Revenant”?

Well, get ready for more bloodshed. Word is that in the wake of LinkedIn’s evisceration, options traders are bracing themselves for some more brutal scenes when Twitter and Pandora report their quarterly results this week. San Francisco-based Twitter delivers its report after Wednesday’s close, and it also comes on the heels of the company’s stock price hitting an all-time low on Monday. Pandora, the Internet radio streaming leader  from Oakland, is set to make its quarterly report public after Thursday’s close of trading.

And while on the subject of tech stocks taking it on the chin, LinkedIn fell by another 8.2 percent to close Tuesday at $100.98 a share, and Twitter shares plumbed more depths, falling 3.4 percent to end the day at $14.40. Pandora, however, rose by 1 percent to $7.97 a share, but is still off by almost 65 percent since reaching a 52-week-high of $22.60 on Sept. 21.

Middle Innings:


And The Tweets Keep Coming: Twitter, which says “every voice has the power to change the world,” saw some of that power earlier in the week following reports that the social-messaging company might make changes to how tweets are displayed on a person’s Twitter timeline. The #RIPTwitter hashtag sprung up, and even Chief Executive Jack Dorsey felt the need to respond to criticism online.

Maybe in an effort to appeal to its user base of 320 million people, Twitter on Tuesday said it launched the new Twitter Trust & Safety Council. Twitter said the group, which includes input and help from more than 40 different organizations and experts, will give input and assistance to help “strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power.”

Whatever the case, Twitter may face its biggest moment of truth with its quarterly results on Wednesday.

Libertie! Egalite! Facebookery?: We all know that one person who, for whatever reason, isn’t on Facebook. But, sometimes, that person likes to check the site to see what his old high school girlfriend looks like and then he goes back to wondering why he dumped her all those years ago. And Facebook tracks everyone who visits its site, whether he or she is a site member. But a ruling in France has given Facebook three months to stop tracking non-members who visit the site in the country without their consent, or the social-network may have to pay an as-yet undetermined fine.

Meg Got A Pay Cut…But Still Got Paid: 

It’s good to be Meg Whitman. Last year, Whitman oversaw the split of Hewlett-Packard into two companies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which sells servers and services to businesses, and HP Inc., which handles sales of PCs and printers. As part of that split, Whitman became Chief Executive of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

And according to a regulatory filing this week, Whitman earned $17.1 million in total compensation in HP’s 2015 fiscal year. But before getting upset over the size of Whitman’s pay package, keep this in mind…Whitman’s 2015 compensation was a bargain, at least compared to the $19.6 million she took home in 2014.

Bottom Of The Lineup:

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley tech stocks did Tuesday:

Movin’ On Up: Network-platform developer Silver Spring Networks was a big gainer, as its shares rose more than 16 percent, to close at $11.35 a share. Gains also came from Silicon Graphics International, Glu Mobile, and Depomed.

In The Red: In addition to LinkedIn and Twitter, SolarCity, YuMe, Imperva and RingCentral each gave up at least 5.5 percent on the day.

The SV150 Index of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies rose almost 12 points, or nearly 1 percent, to end the day at 1,382.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index fell 15 points to close at 4,268.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 12.7 points, or 0.1 percent, to finish at 16,014.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 1.2 points, or 0.1 percent, to end the day at 1,852.

Quote Of The Day: In honor of it being Fat Tuesday…”New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” –Mark Twain

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Photo: In this  photo, a LinkedIn employee walks past a company logo at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. on Nov. 6, 2014. LinkedIn shares fell more than 8 percent on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


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