Stocks for some of the largest tech companies are weighing down Wall Street after the Nasdaq closed down 4.3% on Monday.
It’s mostly to do with tech companies that were favorites during an earlier stage of the coronavirus pandemic, when locked-down consumers flocked to such services as Netflix, Amazon, and Peloton. Since then, those same companies have seen steep declines in their stocks, in some cases wiping out all of their pandemic-era gains or worse. This means that many social media-savvy retail investors are losing money and coping the best way they know how: with memes.
The dip among the aforementioned pandemic favorites has been noticeable since January. For instance, Al Jazeera reported that Netflix, Peloton, Zoom, and DocuSign were just some of the tech darlings that saw major decreases in the value of their shares earlier this year, along with Coinbase, electric car company Rivian, and a few more. The trend doesn’t seem to be changing for them during the most recent earning season.
The reversal of fortunes has figured prominently on the subreddit r/WallStreetBets, a forum for stock exchange enthusiasts to share tips, trading advice, and most importantly, jokes about the market. Some might remember it from the infamous GameStop trading frenzy that took place last year. Since the GameStop story died down, the subreddit has become a place for people to joke about how their portfolios are on a downward trend and how they regret investing in tech.
After Peloton reported abysmal earnings on Tuesday, some joked with a timely meme from the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial. The top photo shows a crying Heard with the words, “And then he said that Peloton’s new CEO would turn things around”—a reference to Barry McCarthy, who took over for cofounder John Foley earlier this year—and the bottom shows a snickering Depp. According to CNBC, the connected fitness company lost over $757 million in its third quarter—in comparison to its $8 million loss reported at the same time last year.
Not surprisingly, Netflix’s runaway hit Squid Game, where contestants risk their lives for a chance to win a cash prize, has been a popular reference for market meme makers. One Instagram meme shows a photo of two characters from the series talking. “Why are you here? I thought you were financially stable,” reads the caption, on top of logos for Netflix, Shopify, Zoom, Bitcoin, Peloton, and Ark Investment Management.
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Another Squid Game-inspired meme shows a distressed character with text that says, “When you buy the dip, but the dip keeps dipping.”
Crypto markets, also suffering as of late, have not been spared the meme treatment.
— HammadMustafa.eth (@hammadmustafa_) May 8, 2022
Someone else shared a simple meme that perhaps summed up the feeling shared by many retail investors at the moment. It’s a man disappointedly sitting behind a desk with text that says, “I was told there would be Lambos.”
Embattled tech companies have been scrambling for ways to contain their financial hemorrhages. For example, Netflix recently told its employees that ads could be coming to its platform by the end of the year.