Big technology bellweathers were hit hard in a broader market downturn on Wednesday, but investors shouldn't get distracted by the sudden sell-off, according to one tech analyst.
The so-called FANG stocks -- Facebook Inc. (FB) , Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) -- all ended Wednesday lower, along with a steep drop in chip names including Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) and Micron Technology (MU) , driving the Nasdaq to experience its worst day in three months.
By Thursday, many tech stocks had rebounded from yesterday's sell-off, however. A half hour before Thursday's close, Facebook and Apple were back in the green, while Netflix and Alphabet remained lower. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was increasing 0.6%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.2%.
The recent selloff is likely a result of investors rotating out of the tech sector and into bank, finance and transportation names.
"We see at as a rotational trade that is a blip for these names over the next 3 to 6 months as tech investors were taking profits after a massive run," said GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives. "We view yesterday's sell-off as healthy but not start of a broader negative trend as we see strong underlying growth drivers and multiple expansion ahead."
Investors in FANG stocks and other big tech names have benefited from a "stellar" earnings season and strong e-commerce sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Ives added.
Across the board, Silicon Valley giants beat Wall Street's expectations during the third quarter. As TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa noted, that trend was likely due to a virtuous cycle of increased consumer spending on tech products and apps, FANG companies' massive scale, as well as increased spending on data centers and software.
Even after Wednesday's sell-off, the S&P 500's tech sector is still the biggest gainer of 2017. The sector has climbed 35.7% year to date, compared to the S&P 500's gain of 18.2% so far this year.
Silicon Valley is also poised to benefit from the possibility of incoming tax reform, which could serve as a major tailwind for tech stocks by year's end, Ives noted. Market watchers expect the tax bill to include a repatriation policy that would push tech companies to bring some offshore cash back to the U.S., which could be used on M&A, share buybacks and other investments. Apple, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) are among the biggest winners from tax reform, he added.
Across the tech sector, Ives believes that Amazon, Apple, Microsoft Inc. (MSFT) , Netflix, Alphabet and Facebook will "lead the pack" into 2018.
Netflix should continue to profit off of a number of growth levers, including its never-ending "content machine," while YouTube is shaping up to be Alphabet's "golden advertising gem" that could lead to further share gains, Ives explained. Additionally, Facebook remains one of Ives' top picks, as key metrics surrounding engagement, user growth and ad growth "look healthy" heading into 2018, he added.
Amazon (AMZN) share gains will be propelled by its blockbuster holiday sales, particularly from Cyber Monday, as well as its cloud computing product, Amazon Web Services, which is still in the "early innings of hitting its stride," Ives said.
Apple, meanwhile, will be the "clear winner" of the holiday season, propelled by a surge of upgrades tied to the $1,000 iPhone X, which should be a tailwind for the stock in December and March quarters.
"We ultimately believe that with a major ASP (average selling price) lift and initial iPhone X demand that looks to be very strong out of the gates for 2018 and gives Apple $12+ of potential earnings power heading into 2019," Ives said.
Facebook, Apple, Alphabet, Nvidia and Microsoft are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells FB, AAPL, GOOGL, NVDA or MSFT? Learn more now.
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