Displaying items by tag: netflix
Investors might be growing a little uneasy if they have been paying attention to market leaders. A number of stocks that have led the big market rally are starting to falter, and that could be a sign of a major pullback to come. Amazon, Zoom, Netflix and other leaders of this rally have recently plateaued or dipped, which could be a sign that the rally has lost strength. If those stocks start to lose ground, a lot of the gains the market has seen are at risk because of the chance that investors could capitulate once the indexes loses leadership. One equity strategist at BTIG put it this way, “We’d suggest that the ability for the broad market to build on its recent gains is contingent on names like Zoom, Moderna, Netflix and Amazon and other highflying ‘shelter-in-place’ names whose momentum has waned in recent days, to at least sustain their meteoric advances as leadership passes off to the more cyclical areas and themes”.
FINSUM: We think there is a degree of truth in this. If the big gainers start to fade, it is hard to imagine the laggards will suddenly start holding the market up.
The golden age of streaming is over, that is for sure. For the last several years, the combination of Netflix and Amazon Prime have given consumers a wide array of choices at low prices. However, the streaming space is now fragmenting dramatically as Disney and others take their programming off Netflix and others, making consumers pay for more subscriptions to get the same content. NBC, for instance, just launched its own service, Peacock, for its content. However, it did something quite differently—a lot of the content is free for consumers. You only pay for a premium section of the content, but a bulk of its is free when you sign up. If you are already a Comcast subscriber, the whole thing is free, though it does have limited ads.
FINSUM: This is the first time that a major streaming service decided to be free (outside of Prime Video being free for Prime subscribers). This may change the whole pricing paradigm for the industry.
A prominent fund manager has just come out with a bold and bearish prediction—that the big multi-year surge in FAANG stocks will fade. Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates says “Will these stocks produce such impressive growth that they will justify their current market cap, or are these implausible growth expectations? We don’t have a crystal ball, of course, but we would recommend not betting on the momentum continuing”. Overall, FAANGs account for $4.2 tn of market cap, a huge concentration in such a small group of stocks, and a big threat to the overall bull market. Arnott is considered the founder of smart beta and has turned Research Affiliates into a firm that manages $184 bn.
FINSUM: The basic argument here is that FAANG valuations have simply grown too large relative to other sectors and are bound to come down. But what is the catalyst?
Tech stocks are going to hold up to the next recession in very different ways. Some will prove quite defensible, while others will be wounded badly. On the defensible side, analysts contend that Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Expedia should do well. The core tenet of this argument is that digital ad spend will likely remain robust, keeping their revenues from dropping off too much. However, smaller companies like Cardlytics, Revolve Group, and Quotient Technology seem as though they may be wounded badly. Netflix might be the biggest overall risk, however.
FINSUM: Netflix is the most interesting name to discuss here. So is that ~$12 per month for Netflix a discretionary spend that consumers will cut back on in a recession, or is it now a staple? The answer to that question will decide its performance in the next downturn.
Consider it a warning shot across the bow of Silicon Valley, the opening salvo in a potentially brutal antitrust war. The head of the Department of Justice said in a public speech yesterday that low prices and free services would not shield “monopolists” from scrutiny. “There are only one or two significant players in important digital spaces, including internet search, social networks, mobile and desktop operating systems, and electronic book sales … This is true in certain input markets as well. For example, just two firms take in the lion’s share of online ad spending”, said the head of the DOJ, Makan Delrahim. He continued “Like today’s tech giants, Standard Oil was pioneering and generated a number of important patents. Scholars have noted, however, that Standard Oil’s innovation slowed as it became an entrenched monopolist”. Delrahim also listed specific behaviors which would spark investigation, including bundling products together.
FINSUM: The government is poised to launch a large and multi-fronted war on big tech. How long this will take, or how it will play out in markets is anyone’s guess, but it is hard to find any positives as far as big tech company share prices are concerned.