Tech Stocks’ Donald Trump Hangover Continues

Todd Spangler
Variety

Shares of large technology companies fell again Monday, as investors continue to worry that Silicon Valley will suffer under policies enacted under the regime of President-elect Donald Trump.

Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google slid below broader market indices in morning trading. That came after a sell-off last week in the days following Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton, who had counted far more supporters across the technology industry.

Apple shares were down 2.8%; the tech giant’s stock has dropped more than 5% since last Tuesday — representing a loss of more than $30 billion in market value. Meanwhile, on Monday Facebook stock was down 3.6%, while Google was off 2.7%, Amazon dropped 2.3%, and Netflix declined 2%.

Investors have focused on Trump’s protectionist trade positions and calls for greater restrictions on immigration, which could cut off a critical supply of talent for tech companies. When he was running for president, Trump called for a boycott of Apple products over its refusal to cooperate with federal agents investigating the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., last year, and he’s said he wants to force the company to move manufacturing operations to the U.S.

On Sunday, China’s state-run Global Times newspaper published an editorial warning that iPhone sales “will suffer a setback” if Trump carries out his promises to enact punitive tariffs on the country. Greater China represented 22.5% of Apple’s total revenue for the 2016 fiscal year ended Sept. 24. “If Trump imposes a 45% tariff on Chinese imports, China-U.S. trade will be paralyzed,” the paper said, adding that China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the U.S.

As a candidate Trump also charged that Amazon is a monopoly that has avoided paying billions in taxes — while Trump himself has boasted of not paying federal income tax for years — and he’s spoken out against large M&A deals, including AT&T’s proposed takeover of Time Warner.

In addition, Trump has said he opposes the FCC’s network neutrality regulations, which along with a Republican-led Congress has prompted speculation that the rules barring ISPs from discriminating against content may be dismantled. That could give broadband providers greater leverage in hiking fees they charge content companies to deliver high volumes of video and other data.

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