What happened

Shares of a few smaller technology companies made some big moves on Friday as the broader market struggled to stay positive. While the S&P 500 was up a few percentage points at market open, that gain had been whittled down to just 0.54% by 11:50 a.m. EDT.

Silicon Laboratories (NASDAQ:SLAB), Fastly (NYSE:FSLY), and Check Point Software (NASDAQ:CHKP) were substantially higher at market open. Those gains had moderated by late morning.

Stock

 Change at 11:50 a.m.

Maximum Change

Silicon Laboratories

6.2%

13.6%

Fastly

4.6%

17.9%

Check Point Software

5.5%

9.7%

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

So what

The stock market tumbled on Thursday, with the major U.S. indexes losing nearly 10% each. It was the worst day in decades for the market, and nearly every stock got caught up in the selling. Silicon Labs dropped 18.6%, Fastly fell 17.1%, and Check Point slumped 9.6%.

All three stocks have been hammered over the past month as fears surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic escalated. Event cancellations and school closings are piling up in the U.S., and major tourist attractions are beginning to shut down. The ultimate economic impact to the U.S. economy is unknown, but it could be substantial.

A rising chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

Over the past month, shares of Silicon Labs and Check Point are down around 28%, while shares of Fastly have tumbled roughly 38%.

Silicon Labs cut its first-quarter outlook on Thursday morning, which contributed to the stock's poor performance. The company is seeing weakening demand thanks to the pandemic, and there are still issues with its supply chain despite all its Asia-based suppliers having resumed operations. Silicon Labs now expects adjusted EPS between $0.49 and $0.53 in the first quarter, down from previous guidance of $0.57 to $0.67. On a GAAP basis, the company now expects to post a per-share loss between $0.12 and $0.16.

Edge cloud-computing provider Fastly reported solid results back in February, but it wasn't enough to keep the stock afloat. Revenue grew by 44% to $59 million, beating analyst expectations by more than $4 million. Adjusted EPS was a loss of $0.10, ahead of analyst estimates by $0.01. Fastly also announced a CEO change, with Joshua Bixby, its president, taking the helm. Previous CEO Artur Bergman transitioned to chief architect and executive chairperson.

On top of coronavirus fears, Check Point received an analyst downgrade early this month, which added fuel to the fire. Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to sell on March 5, dropping its price target to $100 per share. Goldman is concerned that maintenance growth will come under pressure if the company continues to lose market share.

In 2019, while Check Point's subscription revenue jumped 12.5% to $610.3 million, product and license revenue slumped 2.8% to $510.8 million.

Now what

While solid gains for these stocks on Friday certainly feel good after a brutal Thursday sell-off, there's little reason to believe the volatility will die down anytime soon. More big declines, and more big rallies, are likely as the coronavirus pandemic plays out in the United States and around the world.

All three of these small tech companies will likely see some negative impact from the pandemic. For long-term investors, what matters is how the companies perform in the long run.