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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

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

3 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.

3 hours ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.