It all started when Twitter dared to fact check some of Donald Trump's tweets. Trump, of course, responded by attacking Twitter and other social media platforms claiming they're trying to censor him and his conservative allies ahead of the November election.
Yesterday, Trump announced that he will sign an executive order targeting social media companies, although we still have no idea what the order would entail.
Social media stocks, including Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Snap (SNAP) and Spotify (SPOT), fell sharply on the news. Twitter, Trump's original target, trailed the S&P 500 by nearly 5% yesterday alone.
We've seen this type of price action in stocks targeted by Trump before. It happened most frequently over the past year or two when Trump alternately touted trade optimism, which sent stocks rallying, only to follow it up later with a threat of further tariffs, which sent stocks back down.
This seesaw went on for a full year before traders finally got wise on stopped trading on the rumor.
The main question now becomes 1) what will Trump's executive order look like and 2) will it have the teeth to actually impact the way Twitter, Facebook and other companies do business?
My guess is 1) it will contain some type of generic, unmeasurable, unenforceable mandate that's designed more for looks that will stoke his base and 2) unlikely. At most, I can see some kind of attempt at increased oversight, but nothing that would actually affect the bottom line.
That means social media stocks are on sale.
If nothing about the fundamental business models of these companies actually changes, you'll probably prefer to buy share at a 5% lower price than you did yesterday. Plus, there's no reason why social media stocks can't quickly recover to pre-order levels.
You can, obviously, play this by buying Facebook, Twitter, Snap and other ancillary social media-exposed companies, like Tencent and Alphabet, directly. If you want to buy the entire basket, consider the Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL).
These companies are all among its top 10 holdings and includes other names, such as Baidu (BIDU) and IAC Interactive (IAC). It's relatively thinly traded, so be careful with bid/ask spreads. Limit orders are always a good idea when trading these types of securities.
Again, I see no reason why social media stocks can't quickly return to pre-order levels. That means a 5% short-term upside can be had here.
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