The so-called FAANG stocks — Facebook , Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet — which were investors darling over the past decade, have seen terrible trading in the past six weeks. In fact, each of the five stocks has slipped into a bear territory from their peaks.
Facebook led the way among the group tumbling 40.6%, followed by declines of 39.1% for Netflix, 28.9% for Amazon, 24% for Apple and 22% for Alphabet. Collectively, these stocks have lost nearly $1.02 trillion in value since hitting their respective 52-week highs.
The decline came following the weaker-than-expected earnings results and a disappointing outlook. Facebook has been hit hard by its slowing user growth. The company reported 9% and 10% year-over-year growth in daily and monthly active users, respectively, in the third quarter. This represents a fall from 11% growth for both users seen in the second quarter. The stock is also declining on a raft of negative publicity surrounding its handling of foreign influence on the 2016 election.
Notably, Facebook hit its lowest level since February 2017 on Nov 19 and is on track to finish the third straight month in the red, which would mark the longest quarterly losing streak since 2013.
Amazon has been on a wild ride after issuing soft guidance for the holiday quarter, while Apple has declined on the Wall Street report that the iPhone maker has slashed production of its three new iPhone models — XR, XS and XS Max — introduced in September. Meanwhile, Netflix and Alphabet slid with the rest of the FAANG stocks. In fact, shares of GOOGL slid to the bear market territory for the first time in seven years.
The turbulence was also triggered by global growth worries resulting from ongoing trade tensions, geopolitical uncertainty, slowing economic growth in China and emerging markets.
Solid Sector Outlook
The long-term outlook for the sector remained promising given the twin tailwinds of Trump’s tax reform plan and a rising interest rate scenario. This is because tech titans hoard huge cash overseas and are poised to benefit the most from reduced tax rates. These companies are sitting on a huge cash pile and are in a position to increase payouts to their shareholders. Additionally, the sector’s cyclical nature will allow it to perform well in a maturing economic cycle.
The emergence of cutting-edge technology such as cloud, Internet of Things, autonomous cars, gaming, wearables, VR headsets, drones, virtual reality devices, artificial intelligence and other advanced information technologies are acting as catalysts.
Further, holiday optimism is expected to drive these stocks higher on hopes of a digital shopping spree. According to the Consumer Technology Association, U.S. technology spending during the 2018 holiday season (October–December) is expected to reach a record $96.1 billion, up 3.4% from last year. Around 164 million U.S. adults (66%) plan to purchase a tech product as a gift this year — on par with 2017. Consumers will spend a record amount on emerging technology such as smart speakers, smart home devices and smartwatches.
Given this, investors should move on to the tech ETFs that employ some unique/smart approach or have less exposure to the big players. Below, we have highlighted some of these and could be excellent bets on bullish industry fundamentals going into the holiday season.
Global X Internet of Things Thematic ETF
This fund follows the Indxx Global Internet of Things Thematic Index and provides exposure to the companies that stand to benefit from the broader adoption of the Internet of Things. Holding 49 stocks, it is moderately concentrated across components with each holding less than 8.5% of assets. The product has accumulated $79.8 million in AUM and sees average daily volume of around 30,000 shares. Expense ratio comes in at 0.68%.
iShares North American Tech-Multimedia Networking ETF
This ETF provides concentrated exposure to domestic multimedia networking securities by tracking the S&P North American Technology-Multimedia Networking Index. It holds 23 securities in its basket with each accounting for less than 9.5% share. The product has accumulated $49.7 million in its asset base while seeing a lower volume of around 17,000 shares a day. Expense ratio comes in at 0.47%. The fund carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook.
Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Technology ETF
This ETF offers equal-weight exposure to 67 tech firms by tracking the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index Information Technology Index. Each firm account for less than 2% share in the basket. It has amassed $1.5 billion in its asset base while trades in moderate volume of around 89,000 shares. The fund charges 40 basis points (bps) in fees per year and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium risk outlook.
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Information Technology Portfolio
This fund offers exposure to the small-cap segment of the technology sector by tracking the S&P SmallCap 600 Capped Information Technology Index. It has managed $362 million in its asset base and trades in light average daily volume of about 21,000 shares. The ETF charges 29 bps in fees per year from investors. Holding 90 securities in its basket, the product is well spread across securities with each holding no more than 4.11% share. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook.
SPDR S&P Internet ETF
This product targets the Internet corner of the broad tech space and tracks the S&P Internet Select Industry Index. It holds 45 stocks in its basket with an equal-weight exposure of around 3%. Internet & direct marketing retail takes the largest share at 41.4%, while interactive media & services and internet services & infrastructure make up for 36.8% and 21.8%, respectively. The ETF has accumulated $47.4 million in its asset base and charges 35 bps in fees from investors. It trades in a light volume of around 15,000 shares a day on average and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2.