The internet giants both reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results this week, hurt by a combination of macroeconomic factors, the war in Ukraine and tough comparisons to blowout numbers during the pandemic.
Amazon tumbled 23.8% in April, its biggest decline since falling 25.4% in November 2008, the same month that Google plummeted 18.5%. Alphabet had its worst month since that time, dropping 18% in April.
Throughout the first few months of 2022, investors have been rotating out of tech on fears of rising inflation and higher interest rates. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the spike in fuel prices that followed and an ongoing labor shortage have started to hit companies’ bottom lines.
The last time Amazon and Google saw this sort of selloff was during the heart of the global financial crisis, when borrowers were defaulting on home loans at record rates and many of the top financial institutions were failing. Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008, followed by a string of big Wall Street bailouts.
Tech stocks got crushed across the board. The Nasdaq fell 11% in November, following an 18% slump in October.
It’s been a mixed bag for the Big Tech class so far this earnings season. Facebook reported better-than-expected profit though it missed on revenue and told investors that sales in the second quarter could drop from a year earlier. Apple beat expectations, but spooked investors after warning that sales in the current quarter could take a hit from supply constraints.
On Thursday, Amazon gave weak guidance for the current quarter, and growth rates stalled to their slowest since the dot-com bust in 2001. Earlier in the week, Google missed on sales and profit, reporting a huge miss in its YouTube segment, where revenue grew just 14%.
While both stocks are suffering so far this year, their trajectories diverged significantly in 2021. Alphabet was the best-performing Big Tech stock of the year, surging 68%. Amazon was the worst of the pack, gaining 2.4%.