The FAANG gang is toast. Make way for just two companies dominating the stock market: Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT), whose combined weighting in the S&P 500 is now 13.3%.
That’s the highest on record and rivals that of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)’s and AT&T (T)'s dominance of the benchmark index in 1978, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The relevance of Apple and Microsoft is especially relevant right now, as the stocks are proving to be welcome havens for investors amid the banking and stock market turmoil.
Individually, Apple’s weighting in the S&P 500 is 7.11%, while Microsoft’s is 6.14%. Year-to-date, they are up 23% and 14%, respectively, although they suffered steep losses in 2022.
Meanwhile, as a collective group, the weighting of FAANG stocks has declined to 21% from a high of 25% in August 2020. Those are the famous: Facebook, Amazon.com, Apple, Netflix and Google stocks that dominated the markets for a full decade.
“It’s just been monumental,” says Todd Sohn, ETF strategist at Strategas, of the shift in investor focus. “There’s just more comfort with the way Apple and Microsoft are viewed as opposed to going out and buying any tech name out there.”
What brought FAANG out of favor? The specter of inflation and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, which are never good for high-growth companies. Individually, too, some of the FAANG companies have faced headwinds.
Specifically, Facebook parent Meta is battling increasing competition and has put big bets on the metaverse. Netflix has lost subscribers and is struggling to control costs.
Now the banking crisis has many investors hopeful the Fed is winding down its interest rate hikes. Indeed, Nasdaq is up 3.5% this month and 13% for the year.
Just because Apple and Microsoft seem like concrete plays doesn’t mean that investors should gamble their money on the tech-heavy Nasdaq, technology-focused indexes or even these two technology leaders, says Lori Van Dusen, CEO of LVW Advisors in Rochester, N.Y.
Rather, it’s a stock-picker’s market, Van Dusen says: “The index is more concentrated than it’s been. You’re just making a bet that these are going to be the places to be going forward, and that’s usually a bad bet. That is not the way to make money in the coming years.
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