FAANG stocks could be a victim of their own success in
2018, says Morgan Stanley.
The outperformance of the tech-focused group could
leave it vulnerable to some trend reversals that could weigh on
performance, according to the firm.
All good things must come to an end. Which is why Morgan Stanley
has already started brainstorming about what could derail torrid
gains for scorching-hot tech stocks.
The FAANG group — which consists of Facebook, Amazon,
— has crushed the broader market in 2017, buoyed by strong
earnings growth and a momentum-chasing mindset from investors
looking to buy stock in proven winners.
And while Morgan Stanley isn’t yet prepared to get outwardly
bearish on FAANG heading into next year, it does note that there
are some elements present that could slow the group’s roll. They
1) A heavy concentration of broader market gains in FAANG
FAANG has driven 24% of the benchmark S&P 500‘s gains in 2017, which is
the third-highest level of concentration in the last 20 years,
trailing only 1999 and 2004, according to Morgan Stanley data.
Still, the firm notes that the average over the period is a 22%
contribution from the market’s top five stocks, so FAANG
dominance isn’t as overextended as it might appear on the
surface. But it remains something to watch.
2) Growth stocks are beating their value counterparts — which
could be due for a reversal
Growth stocks have beaten their value-based peers for 10 years
running after a six-year period where the opposite was true,
according to Morgan Stanley. This trend could weaken or even see
an outright reversal in 2018, the firm says. And that would
impact FAANG because they’re among the most notable examples of
successful growth stocks.
3) Market outperformers tend to slow the following year
Morgan Stanley finds that, throughout history, the top five
market cap growers in a given year have only returned 3.7% over
the following 12 months. What’s more, those companies actually
see a -0.6% median return, relative to the S&P 500.
This fits in perfectly with Morgan Stanley’s bullish-but-tempered
outlook. These stocks may rise in 2018, but they’ll be
hard-pressed to keep pace with their outstanding 2017 gains.