Shares of a large number of stocks tumbled on Monday, as the market considered a wide range of economic issues that ultimately pushed the major U.S. stock indexes lower.
HubSpot (NYSE:HUBS) stock was down as much as 9.1% on Monday, Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) was off by as much as 6.1%, and DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) was also down as much as 6.1%. The trio ended the session down 7.4%, 4.3%, and 5.5%, respectively. It’s worth noting that the broader market indexes were also down, with the S&P 500 losing 1.3% on the day, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 2.1%.
There didn’t appear to be any company-specific news driving these stocks lower, but rather a number of macroeconomic factors that may have contributed to the sell-off.
There were a host of headwinds facing markets on Monday, any one of which — or more likely a combination of them — could have contributed to the decline of these high-growth technology stocks.
Congress continues to play a partisan tug-of-war with the U.S. debt ceiling, which the legislative branch must raise in the coming days in order for the country to pay its bills. Unfortunately, the U.S. is edging closer to its first-ever default, which could result in a domino effect on world economies. Market watchers are becoming more nervous as the Oct. 18 deadline looms.
Additionally, U.S. Treasury yields have been rising in recent weeks as stocks have been falling. Rising yields usually signal investors are nervous about the potential for rising inflation and are looking for a safe haven to stash their cash.
Finally, some of the broader issues facing the economy have yet to be resolved. Recent reports suggest a backlog of container ships at key U.S. ports are exacerbating existing supply chain bottlenecks. Delays are stretching from days into weeks due to a shortage of port staff and truck drivers responsible for moving the goods.
What does all this have to do with HubSpot, Okta, and DocuSign? Simply put, not much. However, some investors have gotten skittish, causing them to sell off some of their big winners in the event of a feared correction. For context, each of these stocks has provided strong, triple-digit returns since early 2019, and some investors see them ripe for harvesting.
Eagle-eyed investors will have detected another common theme running through these three stocks: Namely, that each one possessed a somewhat lofty sticker price leading into today’s drubbing. Okta, HubSpot, and DocuSign are currently selling at 30, 27, and 26 times sales, respectively, while a good price-to-sales ratio is typically between one and two.
There tends to be a rubber-band effect that happens during the broader market declines: Stocks that have already-stretched valuations tend to snap back even further.
It’s important to remember, however, that each of these stocks has run higher because of strong underlying business and financial performance. Short-term volatility is merely the cost of admittance.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.