Share prices of at least seven top IT vendors including Box, Dell Technologies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Nutanix, Pure Storage, Quantum, and Xerox on Thursday fell dramatically as investors reacted to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus around the globe.
Panic seemed to grip investors Thursday as the economic and personal cost of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic started hitting home a day after the Dow Jones officially entered bear market territory, which is defined as being down by over 20 percent from the last high.
A major sell-off of shares drove the main stock exchanges sharply down and dragged down share prices in major IT companies down by up to 20 percent.
IDC on Thursday revised its IT spending forecast for 2020 to a mere 1 percent rise over that of 2019 because of COVID-19 coronavirus concerns, down from its original January forecast of 5 percent growth.
Share prices dove despite a late Wednesday night address by US president Donald Trump from the Oval Office of the White House aimed at addressing the economic and health concerns caused by the pandemic.
The stock markets also fell despite a move by the New York Federal Reserve announcing plans to inject at least US$1.5 trillion into the financial system.
For Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 9.99 percent to 21.200.62, which was the worst single-day drop since the 1997 crash. The NASDAQ was down 9.43 percent to 7201.80, while the S&P 500 fell 9.51 percent to 2,480.64.
Among the worst-hit IT shares were those of Quantum, which saw its share prices fall 21.41 percent to US$2.68 per share.
Other IT company's taking big 10-percent-plus hits included Box, whose share price fell 13.33 percent to US$10.60; Cisco Systems, which fell 10.39 percent to US$33.20; Dell Technologies, which fell 11.37 percent to US$32.74; Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which fell 13.72 percent to US$9.12; Intel, which fell 11.85 percent to US$45.54: NetApp, which fell 11.22 percent to US$35.91; Nutanix, which fell 15.84 percent to US$13.34; Oracle, which fell 11 percent to US$39.8; Pure Storage, which fell 15.38 percent to US$11.61; and Xerox, which fell 14.15 percent to US$23.90.
Many other IT companies saw their shares fall Thursday, including Apple, which fell 9.88 percent to US$248.23; Dropbox, which fell 2.91 percent to US$15.69; Hewlett Packard, which fell 9.56 percent to US$17.51; and VMware, which fell 7.7 percent to US$97.85;
In after-hours trading, however, the share price of Oracle rose by about 4 percent after the company reported its best revenue growth in two years for its fiscal third quarter 2020, which ended 29 February.
IT solution providers were not spared from the investor panic. Shares of IT distributor Synnex fell 14.75 percent to US$14.90, while those of its competitor Tech Data fell 5.21 percent to US$131.24. IT solution providers whose share prices fell Thursday included Insight Enterprises, which fell 15.06 percent to US$38.96; CDW, which fell 11.08 percent to US$91.47; Office Depot, which fell 13.4 percent to US$1.68; and DXC Technology, which fell 18.26 percent to US$13.43.
For the IT industry, another big impact from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has been the cancellation, postponement, or changing formats of some of the top IT industry events, including the NAB Show and the Mobile World Congress.
This spring has also seen a lot of conferences cancelled, postponed, or converted to virtual events due to COVID-19 coronavirus concerns, including conferences sponsored by Rubrik, Zadara Storage, Dell Technologies, Eaton, Nvidia, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Google, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and some ConnectWise events.