Nasdaq Selloff Is Nasty, but Don't Ignore Buying Opportunities

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Nasdaq had an awful day Thursday. The PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (QQQ) , the exchange-traded fund that tracks the top 100 stocks in the tech-heavy index, hemorrhaged 3.1%, its worst one-day decline since 2011.

The sharp selloff was a dagger in the heart for many investors who were hoping for a relief rally over the next several weeks. 

And it had appeared that relief rally would come. The broader market rebounded on Tuesday and Wednesday, led higher by many momentum stocks such as Facebook (FB) and Tesla Motors (TSLA). 

Although the selloff doesn't appear to be all that bad, it has been a nightmare for many momentum and technology investors. 

The S&P 500 is only down 3.2% from the all-time high it made earlier this month, but the Nasdaq Composite index is now off nearly 8% from its all-time highs made in early March. 

The Nasdaq, which is where more of these technology and momentum stocks can be found, has had a much tougher ride as of late. This is reflected in both the selloff from the highs and the one-day drop on Thursday, (when the S&P 500 "only" fell 2.1%).

So for those of you saying, "Ah, the selloff hasn't been so bad," try telling that to the momentum investors in biotech or the social media space. 

Money has been pouring out of high valuation names -- with Facebook down 18%, Tesla down 18.5%, and Twitter (TWTR) down 38.5% from the highs -- and into low valuation technology stocks such Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC).  

To some degree, this is a warranted move. After all, we've been warned about investing in highflying companies with little or no profit, as the stock prices doubled or tripled throughout 2013. 

When everyone rushes for the exits, however, opportunities are born. 

Consider some of the quality growth stocks with reasonable valuations that have been dragged down in this nasty selloff. 

Google (GOOG), for instance, has fallen more than 10% in the past month. Even after the stock split, shares are still expensive on a dollar basis. But on a valuation basis, the stock is actually quite cheap, considering it grew revenue and earnings roughly 16%  year over year, (based on the most recent quarter). 

Starbucks (SBUX) and Mastercard (MA), which have fallen 10% and 15%, respectively, since the start of the year, still offer relatively strong growth at a low valuation. 

And last but not least, biotechnology stocks have gotten destroyed. The SPDR Biotech ETF (XBI) is down almost 25% since the end of February. 

Although many small- and mid-cap biotech stocks are indeed overvalued, the large-cap biotech stocks have legitimate, sustainable growth. Coupled with multiple drugs, a strong pipeline and solid financials, these stocks are near buying levels. 

I'm talking about names like Amgen (AMGN), Celgene (CELG) and Gilead Sciences (GILD).  

So while the selloff is painful in some parts of the market, don't be afraid to start nibbling at some quality growth stocks trading at a discount. 

At the time of publication, Kenwell was long shares of Starbucks and Mastercard.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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