Since early June, Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report has underperformed the S&P 500 by 4.5%, Netflix (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report by 6%, and Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report by 4.6%. Even Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report has underperformed the index by 0.75%.
The rally off the June lows in the fabled FANG stocks, as TheStreet's Jim Cramer dubbed them, has been impressive but has underperformed the broader market advance in the same period. That is not impressive relative performance for what had previously been leaders and outperformers, and if it continues, it could be a drag on the broader market.
Let's take a closer look at how to trade these four stocks.
Facebook shares have been making lower highs since May, and they have been marked by negative candlestick patterns. Most recently, the June high and the high this month have seen the formation of dark bearish engulfing patterns, the latter at the 50-day moving average and just above horizontal resistance-turned-support. The stochastic indicator is making a bearish crossover in an overbought condition, and moving average convergence/divergence is tracking lower. These negative price momentum indications are accompanied by Chaikin money flow crossing into negative territory.
The integrity of the $116 level is key to the direction of the stock price over the short term.
Facebook is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio. In their weekly roundup on Friday, Cramer and Research Director Jack Mohr addressed "comments from Andrew Left of Citron Research, the short-selling firm, on his belief that FB had reached too high of a valuation":
Facebook is not only a Goliath in its industry, but in the early innings of its growth story and monetization potential. It is anything but a mature business and if Left had studied its most recent results, he would have seen a company that has not only defied investor skepticism over the past four years, but proven adept at growing consistently, rapidly and profitably. We like visibility. Our $145-a-share price target reflects 30x next year's EPS (we view $4.80 a share as fair) which, considering the 40% year- over-year growth, implies a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) multiple of 0.75x, which would still be the lowest across the entire large-cap tech space.
Amazon shares have been trending higher above an uptrend line drawn off the lows since February and their 50-day moving average. They spent four of the last five trading sessions moving lower and forming a high wick candle and two bearish engulfing candles. Moving average convergence/divergence has been in bearish divergence to price, making lower highs to the stock's recent higher highs. On the money flow side, the money flow index, a volume-weighted relative strength measure, is crossing below its center line.
It looks like the uptrend line will be tested again, and a break would suggest that the stock might see an intermediate-term correction.
Netflix has been the standout underperformer trading in a symmetrical triangle pattern since December last year and is currently testing dual Fibonacci resistance. The $100 level is the 38% retracement level of the 2014 low and the 2015 high and is also the 50% retracement level of the 2015 high and the 2016 low. Moving average convergence/divergence is moderating around its center line, but Chaikin money flow is breaking above its center line.
Currently, the stock is holding its 50-day moving average and while a break below this support could seen further retracement, a break above Fibonacci resistance could see the stock make up its lost ground.
Alphabet shares have been trading in a wide horizontal channel for the last nine months and testing the lower end of the pattern last month then bouncing back up to mid-range and currently advancing on April gap resistance. The momentum indicators are reflecting the positive price action since the low retest and money flow is turning positive.
There are still negatives, however, primarily the set of lower highs and lower lows and the 50-day moving average "death cross" below the 200-day average last month. A dark cloud cover candle formed in Friday's session, with price closing on the low and on its 200-day average. A failure here could establish another lower high and take the stock back down to its channel low.
Recently, the stock received some support from analysts at Morgan Stanley, who reiterated their Buy rating and noted that the recent selloff was overdone. However, the conviction was half-baked as the analysts trimmed their estimates on decelerating paid-search revenues, a common theme from the sell side of late. We recognize that this could be an issue in the short term, but still love the long-term story and do not want to underestimate CFO Ruth Porat and her ability to win over investors. We continue to like Alphabet because it sells at roughly only 20x earnings and it remains a household name with a huge cash position and lots of opportunities (those "Other Bets") and a huge growth engine in YouTube. We reiterate our $900 long-term price target.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.