Displaying items by tag: google
The anti-trust probe into Google elicited little more than a shrug from markets. Investors seem to think this just Washington saber-rattling. However, what is not well understood is that the probe is not just a risk for Google, but a major one for Apple. Apple is intimately connected to the case the DOJ is trying to form. In particular, Google pays Apple billions of Dollars a year to be the default search engine on iPhone, a fact which the DOJ has centered its case on. That money flows into Apple’s services unit, which has been its biggest growth driver in recent years. According to an analyst from Bernstein “There’s a risk, if you play it out, that there actually could be more financial impact to Apple than there is for Google”.
FINSUM: The market seems to have fundamentally misunderstood the risk here. Google got the headlines, but Apple potentially has even bigger risk.
There are rising fears about the potential over-valuation of big tech megacaps. While they have risen very strongly this year, their P/E ratios are not the only worry. Regulations are also weighing on investors’ minds, especially after the announcement of the anti-trust probe by the DOJ into Google. That has not stopped the stocks from rallying, however. Most investors are betting that the government’s numerous overtures about anti-trust moves (which have come from both sides of the aisle) are merely saber-rattling.
FINSUM: As it concerns large cap value versus big tech stocks, the answer is simple—it seems like time to buy both. Big tech may keep rising, but there is enough fear to keep other large cap stocks rising as we enter a prolonged recovery, as they have been for several weeks.
The CME Group has published a piece about the outlook for FAAMG stocks in the context of the underlying economy. The CME notes that the FAAMG stocks now account for 22% of the total S&P 500, so their influence is skewing investors’ view of the underlying economy. The reality is that the S&P 500 minus those five stocks is a much more accurate—and much bleaker—representation of the economy. CME says that as the reality of a slow recovery starts to play out in the market’s consciousness, there is bound to be a correction in FAAMG stocks.
FINSUM: The law of gravity would seem to dictate that a fall in FAAMG is inevitable, but what is the catalyst for such a move? Their earnings are good as is growth momentum.
No matter how good you may feel about stock indexes being back near all-time highs, one fact cannot be ignored: the market seems to be heavily overweight on the five largest tech stocks— Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon (the new acronym, named by Goldman is FAAMG). These stocks have been powering the market, but the whole situation feels like past peaks where their outperformance could not go on forever. Concentration in the S&P 500 is now at its highest in decades, with those five names accounting for 22% of the total capitalization, up from just 16% a year ago. According to Barron’s “Simple arithmetic limits the continued outperformance of the biggest names, the Goldman team observes, because many portfolio managers have 5% limits on holdings of any given stock. The strategists’ analysis shows that the average large-cap mutual fund already has a 5% position in Microsoft and about 4% positions in the other big four names.”.
FINSUM: It seems these stocks are reaching their institutional allocation limits, which mans retail needs to power them higher. The whole situation feels ripe for a correction.
The market has seen some very healthy (or perhaps not) gains in the last few weeks, but many are still worried about a plunge to come as the full impact of the COVID lockdown reverberates through the economy. Tech stocks have been big beneficiaries of the rally, with the big companies adding $250 bn to their market caps recently. Those gains look more sustainable than elsewhere too. Fund managers have been seeking refuge in the shares, and their business models look more defensible than most.
FINSUM: We are very bullish on big tech stocks. This whole lockdown is going to shift habits more towards ecommerce (and not just online retail, but food ordering etc), which means Google and Facebook are going to be able to collect their digital advertising tax on a bigger pot than ever.