Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 index and Nasdaq 100 were little changed early Friday morning after the major averages staged a modest rebound Thursday following Wednesday’s sharp sell-off.
Once again, the FANG+ stocks led the way Wednesday. Apple (AAPL) and Amazon.com (AMZN) rose about 1.5% in Thursday stock market trading, with Netflix (NFLX) and Facebook (FB) climbing close to 2%. Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL) was a relative laggard, up 0.9%, but still outperformed the major averages.
Futures for the Dow industrials and S&P 500 were virtually flat vs. fair value. So were Nasdaq 100 futures. After Thursday’s close Applied Materials (AMAT), Salesforce.com (CRM), Ross Stores (ROST), Gap (GPS) and Autodesk (ADSK) rallied on their earnings reports.
In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.1% while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2% and China’s Shanghai composite was fractionally lower.
Happy Anniversary Facebook
Last week, Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary as a public company. On Thursday, Facebook had its fifth anniversary. Facebook went public at 38 a share on May 18, 2012. Shares popped to 45 moments after trading began, but closed near the IPO price. Then it spent more than a year below 38. Finally, it broke out in powerful fashion in July 2013. From that 32.61 buy point, Facebook has soared 354% to Thursday’s close of 147.94.
IBD’S TAKE: Facebook is a standout company and stock. But it’s only ranked sixth in IBD’s Internet-Content group. To see which stocks are the group’s top performers and how they stack up vs. Facebook and objective criteria, check out IBD’s Stock Checkup.
It seems obvious in hindsight that Facebook would thrive, even when its stock was underwater for 14 months. But it wasn’t. Yahoo (YHOO) fell behind to Google in search, and Google couldn’t catch up in social media with its ill-fated Google+. Facebook, like many other internet firms, had to deal with a massive shift to mobile, where ads paid out less. That meant Facebook had to spend more to make less.
However, Facebook executed brilliantly. As mobile became its dominant form, additional users and ads translated into massive revenue and earnings growth yet again. Its Instagram purchase — a month before its IPO — turned out to be a boon, especially in battling upstart Snapchat, the main unit of recent IPO Snap (SNAP).
On its anniversary, Facebook kept busy. Facebook reached a deal Thursday to live-stream 20 Major League Baseball games. It’ll stream a game every Friday for the rest of the season, starting on May 19 with the Colorado Rockies vs. the Cincinnati Reds. Facebook already has a pact with Univision to stream some MLS soccer games.
Facebook and other streaming sites are making a big push to cover sports. Amazon recently forged a deal to air the NFL’s 10 “Thursday Night Football” games next season. Amazon is replacing Twitter, which had those rights in the most recent season.
Facebook rebounded from its 50-day moving average on Thursday in above-average volume, though trading cooled from Wednesday. It was solid action at a key support level. But with the current market uptrend under pressure, investors should be cautious about stepping in.
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