U.S. Stocks Continue to Plummet, Facebook Loses $9.5 Billion

The arrest of a senior Chinese technology executive threatened to worsen trade tensions between China and the U.S

AFP

U.S. Stocks are opening sharply lower as the arrest of a senior Chinese technology executive threatened to worsen trade tensions between China and the U.S.

The price of oil also fell sharply early Thursday as OPEC leaders gathered to discuss possible cuts in production.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped as much as 500 points before erasing some of its losses.

Boeing and Caterpillar, which would stand to lose much in an extended trade battle, fell the most in the Dow.

Traders continued to shovel money into bonds, a signal that they see weakness in the economy ahead.

The Dow fell 390 points, or 1.6 percent, to 24,640.

The S&P 500 lost 36 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,664. The Nasdaq gave up 99 points, or 1.4 percent, to 7,062.

Facebook, Inc. lost 2.5 per cent of its value, or roughly $9.5billion in early trading.

Internal Facebook documents released by a U.K. parliamentary committee Wednesday offer the clearest evidence yet that the social network has used its enormous trove of user data as a competitive weapon, often in ways designed to keep its users in the dark.

Parliament’s media committee accused Facebook on Wednesday of cutting special deals with some app developers to give them more access to data, while icing out others that it viewed as potential rivals.

In other documents, company executives discussed how they were keeping the company’s collection and exploitation of user data from its users. That included quietly collecting the call records and text messages of users of phones that run on Google’s Android operating system without asking their permission.

The U.K. committee released more than 200 pages of documents on the tech giant’s internal discussions about the value of users’ personal information. While they mostly cover the period between 2012 and 2015 —the first three years after Facebook went public — they offer a rare glimpse into the company’s inner workings and the extent to which it used people’s data to make money while publicly vowing to protect their privacy.