WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc shares posted their biggest daily gain in nearly two years on Tuesday as Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg fended off questions from U.S. senators on how the world’s largest social network might be regulated more closely.
Zuckerberg repeated apologies made on Monday for a range of problems that have beset Facebook, from data privacy to foreign attempts to influence U.S. elections, but the 33-year-old internet mogul managed to deter any specific talk about new laws and made no new promises.
“I’ll have my team follow up with you so that way we can have this discussion across the different categories where I think this discussion needs to happen,” Zuckerberg told a joint hearing by the U.S. Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committees, when asked what regulations he thought were necessary.
He denied that Facebook, which has more than 2 billion monthly users across the world, was a monopoly. “It certainly doesn’t feel that way to me,” Zuckerberg said.
Wearing a dark suit and tie instead of his typical T-shirt and jeans, Zuckerberg appeared largely unruffled as senators questioned him. Investors welcomed his performance.
“Zuckerberg is conciliatory in his presentation,” said Mariann Montagne, portfolio manager at Gradient Investments in Arden Hills, Minnesota. “The stock is running up on his comments. Maybe people like seeing Zuckerberg in a suit.”
Facebook shares closed up 4.5 percent at $165.04, their highest level in almost three weeks. It was their largest daily gain since April 28, 2016.
The shares fell steeply last month after it came to light that millions of users’ personal information was harvested from Facebook by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign among its clients. The latest estimate of affected users is up