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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook lost more than $125 billion in value after the markets closed, with shares plummeting more than 20%, following an earnings report that missed revenue and user growth estimates.

Why it matters: Facebook is part of a small group of companies that has been keeping the overall stock markets afloat for much of 2018.

  • According to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch research note, the so-called FAANG stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (Google) —were single-handedly responsible for the S&P 500 being positive through the first half of 2018. Without them, the index’s first half performance would have been -0.73%.

What happened: Facebook spent the quarter trying to fix its fake news problem, and it’s possible that these results show (perversely) that it’s beginning to work.

  • Mark Zuckerberg wrote that “we're investing so much in security that it will significantly impact our profitability.”
  • Thing is, profits were actually up. And up more than expected. This is a top-line issue reflecting slowed growth, not a bottom line issue about more money going out the door.

Be smart: What we’ve seen in the past 12 hours is that these foundational stocks can fall very far, very fast, and very unexpectedly. Add in a recent subscriber growth hiccup from Netflix, which continues to trade at an astronomical multiple to earnings, and it shows just how thin the line has been between black and red.

Go deeper: Subscribe to my new podcast, Pro Rata.

Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.