Facebook and Netflix Lead Nasdaq Down as Jobless Claims and Rite Aid Improve

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The Dow  plummeted 267 points Thursday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq suffered its worst decline in 2.5 years.

1. Nasdaq Composite stock index falls over 3%
The Nasdaq Composite is an index that tracks stocks listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The index is composed of over 3,000 individual (mostly) tech stocks, and it took a dive of 3.1% Thursday as investors bailed en masse on tech. It's the worst day for tech stocks in two and a half years (or since the Microsoft Zune was created).

Where's the AV Club when you need em? The Nasdaq is the home for tech stocks and companies with a start-up feel (there's a foosball table next to the Nasdaq's fro-yo machine). Since reaching peaks on March 6, the Nasdaq has fallen 7%, but even worse is Facebook ...

Facebook is down 18% in the past month and your news feed didn't even mention it. Facebook and Netflix both fell 5.2% Thursday.

So what's happening? The biggest victims of the recent turn against tech stocks are those with the highest valuations. Facebook and Netflix both have market values that are more than 90 times what the company makes in profits in a year (i.e., the price/earnings ratio). These ridiculously valuable stocks are getting beaten like an escape button during a computer freeze as investors fear the stocks are overvalued.

2. Easter helps weekly jobless claims hit 7-year low
300,000 is the figure of the day -- that's the total number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits since last Thursday and it's the lowest level of weekly jobless claims since May 2007. Plus, the 32,000-claim drop over the last week was the greatest decrease in the stat in over 10 years. That's a greater relief than the fact that it hasn't snowed in April (yet) this year.

So why didn't Wall Street party like Rio during Carnivale? Because of the Easter bunny. The Labor Department adjusts its economic data based on seasonal factors, like holidays, which can sometimes occur at different weeks each year. Easter happens to be one of those holidays, so Wall Street wasn't too confident in the big drop, as adjustments could have swayed the data.

3. Rite Aid boasts healthy earnings
Rite Aid is back and announced its second straight annual profit after six years of horrible losses. Rite Aid's  stock climbed 8.4% after the company announced $55 million in earnings between December and March and a total profit of $249 million for the year.

Rite Aid went two years without opening a new drugstore. And that just may have been the prescription the company needed. During the financial crisis, the company was losing money steadily. Now it has remodeled 335 total drugstores to make you feel more comfortable and less freaked out by blaring florescent lights and scary grandmas. It's also branching out by acquiring health-coaching and health clinic subsidiaries.

Despite fierce competition from CVS and Walgreen, the company's stock has climbed 300% in the past year as it came out to Wall Street as a profit maker. 

As originally published on MarketSnacks.com. 

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The article Facebook and Netflix Lead Nasdaq Down as Jobless Claims and Rite Aid Improve originally appeared on Fool.com.

Jack Kramer and Nick Martell have no position in any stocks mentioned.  The Motley Fool recommends Facebook and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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