A friend actually asked me if they should buy Facebook
(FB) - Get Report on Wednesday afternoon. I told that friend that they could do what they want, that the stock will trade back and forth technically thanks to the wonders of algorithms that race each other to the point of sale, but that they could buy this stock without me.
I am sure, by now, that you have seen the story that ran in the New York Times. According to that report, Facebook documents obtained by the Times indicate that the social media giant permitted approximately 150 companies access to user data. It seems that if true, the report includes data sharing partnerships with several household names, such as Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report , and Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report .
To be fair, Facebook is denying that anyone was exempt from the firm's rules on privacy. While Facebook makes clear that no information was shared without user permission, one thing remains clear. This firm stands under a cloud of headline risk from a market perception. As further evidence of such headline risk, another newspaper, this time the Washington Post, ran a story the same day reporting a lawsuit filed by the District Attorney in Washington, D.C. over the Cambridge Analytica access story that got this whole ball of wax rolling in the first place.
What I told my friend is that he does not need to bottom fish in this environment. Period. The hot money is now cold. If one needs to grab something, just looking at all of the boxes on my neighbor's stoop, buy a technically stronger name such as Paypal (PYPL) - Get Report . I have.
(An earlier version of this column appeared at 7:30 a.m. ET on Real Money, our premium site for active traders. Click here to get great columns like this from Stephen "Sarge" Guilfoyle, Jim Cramer and other experts throughout the market day.)
At the time of publication, Stephen Guilfoyle was long AMZN, MSFT, PYPL equity; and short NFLX equity.