Twitter chief Dorsey falls out of billionaire club with stock market plunge Wednesday

By Ed Adamczyk and Doug G. Ware  |  Updated Jan. 20, 2016 at 3:53 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Wall Street was not kind to Twitter chief Jack Dorsey on Wednesday.

The social media entrepreneur was demoted from the billionaire club to the megamillionaire ranks after the Dow Jones Industrial Average took a bath in early trading Wednesday. The index fell nearly 500 points by midday -- which amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars for Dorsey.

By 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, the Dow had fallen 468 points. Between Dorsey's shares of Twitter and his other tech firm, Square, the losses were gargantuan.

Shares of Square (NYSE: SQ) fell Wednesday below $9, its lowest mark since it was first publicly traded in November -- down 35 percent since that initial public offering. About 30 minutes to close, it was trading at $9.20 per share.

Shares of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) also fell at one point to a 2016 low of $15.48 -- a drop of 7 percent -- before moving back up into the $18-per-share neighborhood.

Wednesday's jagged performance underscores market volatility the social channel has seen over the past year, as its stock is down more than 50 percent in the last 12 months. On Dec. 31, the stock was trading at more than $23 per share.

In September, Forbes valued Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. It fell to $1.4 billion after Square, an online payment application, went public two months later. The roller coaster ride of his tech companies Wednesday put him below the $1 billion-mark -- $944 million, to be exact, according to Forbes.

Shares of his companies, though, partially rebounded toward the close of trading, as the Dow climbed back up to 15,700 territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 450 points on Wall Street at one point Wednesday, before rebounding a bit near the close of trading. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006, left his position as CEO in 2008 and returned on a permanent basis last year.

The S&P 500 and the tech-weighted Nasdaq, meanwhile, didn't see losses near that of the Dow. By 3:30 p.m., the S&P was down about 12 points and the Nasdaq was up about a half-point.

Also Wednesday, European stocks traded at around 2 percent lower and Japan's Nikkei index was down 3.7 percent, 20 percent lower than its 52-week high.

Oil continued to trade at lows not seen in more than a decade. U.S. oil for February delivery hovered at $27.50 per barrel, with March commodity contracts near $28.50 per barrel. Additionally, the December U.S. Consumer Price Index for December fell 0.1 percent, and building permits in the United States were off by 3.9 percent

Tuesday's Dow Jones average closed 27 points higher than Monday's, but technical strategist Katie Stockton of the institutional trading company BTIG told CNBC, "This is characteristic or a downtrend, not a correction."

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