While the S&P 500 has struggled to break out higher since it hit a record on May 7, the index finally managed to notch a new high of 4,239 on Thursday.
Even as the index sits at a new high, there’s a familiar group of stocks that traders say should continue to climb.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), and Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL, GOOG)—together known as FAANG—have, much like the S&P, struggled to move higher lately, with only Facebook and Alphabet hitting new highs this week. The two names also happen to be the best performers of the group so far this year
Of the two, Gradient Investments’ Michael Binger says he prefers the social media giant now.
“Facebook is continuing to be a buy for us,” Binger said. “We own it. I would add more if you don’t own it here. It’s the best consumer-driven internet play out there in my opinion. They’ve got a great advertising platform, 18% to 20% growth for the next several years. You’re getting that at a reasonable price.”
Still, he called Alphabet the “leader of the pack” with its Google search and YouTube video platforms. He also likes Apple, which is down nearly 12% since peaking in January.
“I see Apple as a core holding,” Binger added. “We own it, we love it and I think you could buy it right here on this pullback. The PE multiple has actually come down to the low-20s right now. So, I like Apple here.”
Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference this week, unveiling literally dozens of updates to its core software platforms on Monday. Among them, a new feature called LiveText which can capture text in photos as well as identify objects like dog breeds and historical landmarks, Universal Remote which allows Mac owners to use a single mouse and keyboard to control multiple Apple devices, a number of privacy updates, and a new Mindfulness app for the Apple Watch.
But perhaps the most buzz-worthy update is to Apple’s FaceTime platform, which will soon be improved with spatial audio and voice isolation to reduce background noise, the ability to generate invitations—including to Android and PC users for the first time—and to display all users in a grid. Such improvements will help Apple compete against Zoom Video (NASDAQ: ZM), Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Teams, and Cisco’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) Webex.
“The FaceTime updates were probably the most exciting announcements,” Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani said in a note.
Gina Sanchez, CEO of Chantico Global and chief market strategist at Lido Advisors, says her pick is Amazon.
“This is where that fine nuance between growth and price leads you to growth-at-a-reasonable price,” Sanchez stated. “Amazon, even though it’s probably one of the most highly priced of all of the FAANGs, [it] has a more interesting road ahead because they had strong growth during the pandemic. They’re probably going to lock in those consumers, their cloud business is still growing dramatically, and so the roadmap for them is very good.”