There has been a lot of momentum flowing against tech stocks right now, and especially the FAANGs. Facebook has taken a great deal of the pain, with numerous headwinds facing shares. However, the reality is that the company has a very solid underlying business, and the recent volatility means it also has an attractive valuation. According to Deutsche Bank, “We continue to view Facebook as the best risk/reward in large cap internet given the potential for core Facebook engagement to stabilize … and given the extremely attractive current valuation”.
FINSUM: Facebook has been going through a very rough period over the last year, but the negative news cycle is going to abate, and when it does, the stock seems likely to gain.
Amidst all the gloom gripping the markets, there have been a handful of positive publications about 2019. One of them was just put out by Nomura. The bank published a list of 5 tech stocks that might surge in 2019. The call is an ambitious one given the trend of how tech shares have been going. The shares are not all FAANGs either, which makes them more interesting. With further ado, the list is: Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Broadcom, and AT&T.
FINSUM: Amazon seems like a good call to us, especially after its recent declines. The company is going to see increasing margins as it consolidates its dominant position and earns more recurring revenue. Salesforce is also an interesting business.
As of today, the FAANG stocks have shed over $1 tn in market cap since their recent highs. The turmoil pulled markets down around 2% across indices, with the Dow seeing the biggest drop at 2.21%. The losses mean once again that indices have lost virtually all their gains for the year. As one CIO put it, “absolute bloodbath for technology stocks”. The selloff seems very forward looking, as investors are quite focused on what might go right and wrong in 2019. The biggest worries seem to be around trade.
FINSUM: Here is a question: why exactly is tech selling off? Apple obviously has its own problems, but those particular issues don’t seem very relevant to Facebook etc. Panic?
The market has periodically started to worry about the regulation of the tech industry. For a while that felt a bit premature, but given recent events, it is starting to feel more real. For instance, the FTC has just begun a marathon of hearings, which will run through November, into the state of competition and consumer protection in the digital economy. The hearings are about more than tech though, as they are fundamentally about inequality and worker’s rights across the whole of the economy. The head of the FTC said “In my view, basing antitrust policy and enforcement decisions on an ideological viewpoint (from either the left or the right) is a mistake”.
FINSUM: These hearings seem like the first stage of what might prove to be big changes for anti-trust policy in the US. If changes do happen, we believe they will be much more far-reaching than just for tech.
Apple is reported to be set unveil some big changes in the coming weeks. In what many see as Apple’s third phase, the company is set to release brand new iPads and watches. If personal computing was phase one, and iPhones were phase two, then phase 3 will be wearables, say analysts. The company has seen sales in those divisions soar recently, and they have slowly stolen wallet share from the iPad’s sales. Accordingly, Apple is putting more resources into wearables, but also debuting a new iPad and trying to redefine its purpose for customers.
FINSUM: The iPad has slowly been shrinking from the limelight at the same time as the Apple Watch and Beats have steadily grown. It is hard for us to imagine that either category will be Apple’s main sales driver in the future.