Tech stocks are in a mood, and they're dragging the market down with them

U.S. stocks indexes fell for a third session in a row Tuesday as tech shares continued to tumble.
U.S. stocks indexes fell for a third session in a row Tuesday as tech shares continued to tumble.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Updated at 4:09 p.m. ET

Stocks slid for the third session in a row, as a steep drop in oil prices sent energy shares falling while high-flying technology firms lost more ground.

The S&P 500 fell 2.8 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.25 percent. The Nasdaq lost 4.1 percent.

Among the biggest losers was electric car maker Tesla, which fell 21 percent, after S&P Dow Jones Indices failed to include the company in its S&P 500 index as had been expected.

A favorite of day-traders, Tesla has had an unusually volatile year. It announced a 5-to-1 stock split last month that contributed to recent gains amid hopes it would make the auto maker's stock more accessible.

Apple, Amazon and Facebook were also down.

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These stocks are among a small handful of superstar companies that have driven the market much higher since March, when the pandemic lockdowns were getting under way.

Amazon has nearly doubled in value this year, hitting as high as $3,552 a share last week. Since then, it's fallen more than 10 percent, but is still up a lot since the year began.

These few companies have risen so much in value this year that they represent more than 20 percent of the S&P 500. A decade ago, they made up just 6 percent.

The market was also hit hard as oil prices slumped. The drop occurred amid signs that demand for gasoline is falling, just as oil-producing nations say they will increase production. The decline sent shares of energy companies such as Valero Energy lower.

Stocks are still in positive territory, but the recent decline has brought the major stock indexes down. The S&P 500 index has fallen more than 3 percent since the close of trading Thursday.

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