Breaking Down the Worst Stock Sell-Offs of 2022 as Markets Crash

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

May 12 2022, Published 8:56 a.m. ET

The last three years were phenomenal for investors. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the S&P 500 delivered double-digit returns for three consecutive returns and the index almost doubled between 2019 and 2021, after accounting for the dividends. However, there has been a severe sell-off in U.S. stock markets in 2022 and it has been the worst start to the year in over six decades.

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The Nasdaq has been in a bear market while the S&P 500 is also nearing a bear market territory, which is defined as a drawdown of 20 percent or more from the recent highs. Some of the stocks have crashed even worse. Here are the worst stock sell-offs of 2022.

The S&P 500 has struggled in 2022.

The S&P 500 is down around 17.4 percent in 2022. It's the most popular and most indexed index globally. Here are the bottom five performing stocks of the S&P 500 in 2022. All of the returns are based on May 11 closing prices.

  • Netflix has lost 72.4 percent.
  • Etsy is down 64.5 percent.
  • Align Technology is down 61 percent.
  • PayPal has lost 60 percent of its market cap in 2022.
  • Epam Systems is down 55.7 percent so far in 2022.
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Source: Unsplash

The Nasdaq Index is underperforming the S&P 500 in 2022 and the Nasdaq Composite is down 27.4 percent for the year. The performance of tech-heavy Nasdaq doesn't look surprising since tech and growth stocks have been under severe pressure in 2022.

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Worst-performing Nasdaq Composite stocks

The following are the worst-performing Nasdaq composite stocks based on YTD price action

  • Orphazyme has lost 91 percent YTD.
  • Affirm Holdings is down 85.5 percent.
  • Upstart Holdings has lost 81.5 percent of its market cap.
  • Oric Pharmaceuticals is down 81.4 percent.
  • Embark Technologies has lost almost 81 percent YTD.
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EV stocks have also seen a severe sell-off.

EV (electric vehicle) stocks, which were flying high only about six months ago, have also witnessed a terrible sell-off in 2022. Rivian and Lucid Motors, which listed in 2022, are down 80.6 percent and 63.6 percent, respectively, in the year. Arrival and TuSimple are also among the major losers in 2022 and are down around 80.5 percent each.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has also seen a sell-off and is down 78.7 percent so far in 2022. Along with the broader market sell-off, the pessimism towards cryptocurrencies and digital assets has also been weighing heavy on Coinbase stock.

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Worst-performing Russell 3000 stocks

In market sell-off, small and midcap companies are usually the worst affected. The Russell 3000 index is down almost 19 percent in 2022. However, some of the constituents have fared even worse. The following are the worst-performing Russell 3000 stocks in 2022.

  • Aligos Therapeutics has lost almost 91 percent.
  • Spero Therapeutics is down almost 90 percent.
  • Bioatla is down almost 90 percent.
  • Vroom has lost 87.5 percent of its market cap.
  • Carvana is down 87 percent YTD in 2022.
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Apart from these index constituents, some of the other stocks are also on the dishonorable list of worst sell-off names of 2022. These include Peloton, which is down over 65 percent, and MicroStrategy, which is down around 79 percent.


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