FAANG Stocks, Then and Now

A year ago, everyone was hyped about the FAANG stocks which included Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (Google).These five shares were top picks for investors in 2017 and early 2018.

Four of the five tech stocks gained roughly 50% in 2017, while Alphabet gained 30%, still, considerably a very huge gain. Then came the turmoil in 2018 that plunged not just the FAANG stocks, but all of sectors in the market. The issues on an escalation of trade war between China and USA, the bond yield, Fed’s rate hikes, and Huawei incident at the end of the year had hit the market severely.

 

Facebook slid into bear market territory and ended 2018 with 25% loss. The plunge makes for Facebook’s worst year of trading, and its only down year since going public in 2012. The company faced a lot of probe in 2018, including the leak of users privacy data and the accusation of middling the US election in 2016.

 

Amazon was one of the best performer in the FAANG stocks to close 28% higher at the year end. The e-commerce giant continued to expand its reach into other industries, delving further into health care and media. Amazon would have been much better if it was not for the turmoil in the fourth quarter that erased its gain about 20%.

 

Apple was the first publicly traded US company to pass $1 trillion market cap, which did not last long and lost almost 7% in 2018, making for the stock’s worst year of trading since the 2008 financial crisis.

Apple battled uncertain sales figures and smartphone market saturation. Its worst trading day in 2018 came after the third reported financial statement that Apple announced it would stop reporting individual unit sales and revenue figures for the iPhone and its other biggest product lines in its financial statement.

 

Netflix gained the most in the FAANG stocks at 40% in 2018. The high rise came from its original programming spend to fend off competitors like Hulu, Amazon, HBO and the soon-to-launch Disney+ streaming service. Netflix saw success with more original TV shows and movies, across more countries, than in past years.

 

Alphabet (Google) ended this year mostly flat, just downed only 1%. Google also faced backlash from its own employees around the company’s handling of misconduct and discrimination and answered to EU antitrust regulators to the tune of several billion dollars in fines.