Some of the year’s hottest tech IPOs including Rivian, Affirm and Roblox plummeted in the market on Monday, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq sank into the negative. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average stayed positive, an indication that investors are rotating out of the tech industry.
While there’s no clear-cut reason for the sell-off, stocks that had some of the biggest rallies this year are feeling the pinch. Affirm, which has seen rapid stock growth amid its new partnership with Amazon dropped 7% in afternoon trading. Roblox, which benefitted from rising interest in the metaverse was also down about 7%.
The sell-off in electric vehicle-maker Rivian, which was valued ahead of Ford and General Motors after its market debut and is slated to rival Tesla, continued on Monday. Its stock dropped more than 11% as investors continue taking profits.
Fear of higher interest rates, which generally means a reduction in expected earnings growth for investors, could be one contributor to the sell-off. Yet, President Joe Biden nominated U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for a second term on Monday and the first Fed rate hike isn’t expected until summer 2022 at the earliest.
Amid rate potential hikes, Goldman Sachs analysts urged portfolio managers in a Nov. 19 note to focus on “growth stocks with elevated current profitability” and steer clear of fast-growing firms valued entirely on long-term growth expectations.
“Our recommendation is to avoid fast-growing firms valued entirely on long-term growth expectations, which will be more vulnerable to the risk of rising interest rates or disappointing revenues,” analysts wrote. “In contrast, growth stocks with elevated current profitability have comparatively shorter durations, and therefore are less exposed to the risk of rising interest rates.”
A rotation out of tech stocks earlier this year pummeled cloud stocks like Fastly and Snowflake as investors moved into financials and commodities stocks that typically outperform during inflationary periods. Both stocks were down about 5% and 7% respectively on Monday.