Stocks fall again, pushing deeper into bear territory as SaaS reaches 1-year lows

Alex Wilhelm
Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi (C), shakes hand with a trader next to Uber Cofounder Ryan Graves (R), during their ride sharing company's IPO, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 10, 2019, New York. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

American-listed shares are off sharply this morning, falling after a steep selloff yesterday was not staunched by a presidential address. The declines echo what happened to Asian-listed stocks earlier today.

All major American indices are now in bear-market territory, having shed the requisite 20% from recent highs. Today's carnage is simply bleak. As we write to you, here's where stocks are:

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA): -1,688.5, or -7.2%
  • S&P 500: -191.2, or -7.0%
  • Nasdaq Composite: -557.1, or -7.0%

The bad news continued for tech's darling cohort, SaaS and cloud companies. That group of public companies is off 6.7% today, according to the Bessemer-Nasdaq cloud index. SaaS and cloud companies are now trading at one-year lows, and could approach their lows set in late-2018, early 2019 with a few more bad days' trading. (SaaS companies were early to the bear-market trend.)

Shares of Uber and Lyft are selling heavily today, as the two American ride-hailing companies give back all their profit-promise driven gains that they'd achieved in recent months. Uber is off over 10% as of the time of writing, while Lyft, is down over 13%.

The selloff has proven to be so bad that, once again, market circuit breakers were tripped:


Cryptos, thought of at times as a hedge against other asset classes, are also sharply down, kicking that idea in the shins. Bitcoin is under $6,000, for example.

This is about as bad as it gets, in market terms. Sustained, huge selloffs of shares that are repricing a host of public companies won't help private companies either. As their public comps' values decline, startups will have a harder time raising at advantageous pricing, and finding exits at attractive valuations.

Why now is the best time to start a SaaS company


The IPO world appears moribund. What's going on in venture, however, is more of an evolving picture. Given the lag in the reporting of venture rounds, it's hard to tell how bad, or not bad, things are for private investors and startups. More on that when we have it. The story, however, remains the public markets and the return of fear.