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Stock data on Nasdaq's MarketSite in February. Photo by Bloomberg.

What the Nasdaq Doesn’t Tell Us

Photo: Stock data on Nasdaq's MarketSite in February. Photo by Bloomberg.

The first quarter ended today with another stock sell-off. That makes this a good time to review the state of tech stocks so far in 2022. Just don’t try to make any judgments based on the Nasdaq Composite Index, which is down 9% for the year to date. The Nasdaq is often used as a proxy for the tech sector simply because it includes the biggest tech companies. But it’s useless as a report card for how tech overall performed in the first quarter.

You can see that from a look at the brutally poor performances of many name-brand tech stocks. To pick a few, DoorDash, Robinhood, Coinbase, Snap and Palantir each fell between 20% and 25% since the end of 2021, according to Koyfin data. Snowflake, Pinterest, Meta Platforms, Zoom and Spotify are off 30% to 35%, roughly. Netflix is down nearly 38%. Affirm and Shopify dropped 50% or more. Meanwhile, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft are down between 1.7% and 8% for the year so far. Hooray for them. The point is that the Nasdaq is a perfectly fine guide to the performance of big tech—but not for the broader sector.

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