by Liz Gurdus
After several days of a rapid-fire sell-off that rattled global markets, CNBC’s Jim Cramer and technician Bob Lang took to the charts to prove that some stocks (like FANG stocks) are still worth investors’ time.
Lang, the founder of ExplosiveOptions.net and one of the three market minds behind TheStreet.com’s Trifecta Stocks newsletter, specifically called attention to four of the market’s most recognizable names.
“Here’s the thing: almost exactly five years ago, Lang had this idea for a cute acronym that would sum up the hottest growth stocks around, FANG — short for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, which has since become Alphabet,” Cramer said. “I liked the idea so much that I shamelessly adopted it. Some would even go so far as to say I stole it.”
The “Mad Money” host admitted that the FANG stocks, like most, were not immune to the market-wide sell-off. All four stocks fell hard in the last week, only starting to pare their losses on Tuesday.
But in the last five years, their gains have been staggering, Cramer noted: Facebook is up 547 percent, Amazon has run 441 percent, Netflix has surged 967 percent and Alphabet has tacked on 183 percent.
In comparison, the Nasdaq gained 124 percent over the same time frame and the S&P 500 climbed 78 percent — not bad, but weak compared to FANG stocks, Cramer said.
“More importantly, for the last five years, FANG has been incredibly resilient. As Lang points out, the so-called experts tried to crush these stories over and over again,” Cramer said. “None of it really mattered. Every time, FANG bounced back.”
So as investors reevaluate their holdings amid wild market volatility, Cramer and Lang took to the charts of each FANG stock to determine whether the tech titans could have even more upside.
First up was the daily chart of social media giant Facebook. After making a series of higher highs and higher lows, a typically bullish sign, shares of Facebook tanked on Monday, pulling back to $180. Facebook’s stock even grazed the $177 level on Tuesday before settling at $185, but Lang pointed out that its floor of support just under $180 has held true three times since the fall.
“Will it bounce again? Lang thinks so,” Cramer said. “He likes that the Chaikin Money Flow, which measures the level of buying and selling pressure in a stock, has remained positive … indicating the big institutions still have an appetite for Facebook. Put it all together and he wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook can make a move to $200 in the not-too-distant future.”
Next, Cramer and Lang turned to the daily chart of Amazon, the e-commerce colossus involved in everything from food retail to entertainment to, most recently, health care.
Amazon shares declined dramatically on Monday, but only after a staggering run, Cramer said. Just over three months ago, Amazon’s stock was at $970 a share. Now, it’s hovering at $1,442 a share.
The online retailer also reported earnings last Thursday after the market closed, causing the stock to surge by over $100 a share on Friday despite the beginnings of the sell-off.
“Lang likes that the Chaikin Money Flow has stayed strong here, and he also likes that the stock’s recent rally happened on strong volume,” Cramer said. “There’s really a lot to like with Amazon, which is why Lang sees it making a run to $1,500.”
After spending much of January soaring to new highs, shares of Netflix dropped in recent sessions along with the rest of FANG.
But Lang noted that Netflix’s declines happened on lower volume, an indicator technicians use to determine whether a move is deserved or not. Weak volume means the move could be “lying,” Cramer said.
“Meanwhile, Netflix has a nice floor of support at its 20-day moving average, currently at $242, and the Chaikin Money Flow is still very high, meaning the big institutions continue to lap this stock up,” Cramer said. “Lang believes Netflix can go from $265, where it is now, to $300.”
Finally, Cramer turned to the daily chart of Google parent Alphabet.
Shares of Alphabet took a nosedive after the company’s weaker-than-expected earnings report last Thursday, sinking even more at the start of this week.
“This is the one FANG component that Lang’s not feeling quite so sanguine about,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Lang noticed that the stock’s moving average convergence divergence indicator, or MACD, which helps technicians spot changes in a stock’s path before they happen, recently made a bearish move, depicted on the chart by the black line crossing below the red.
The MACD tends to be a reliable indicator, but Cramer pointed out that Alphabet’s money flow was still strong. Still, all things considered, Lang came out fairly bearish on Alphabet.
“Put it all together and Lang could see Alphabet bottoming out at the current levels,” Cramer said. “He thinks the $1,050 level would be a buying opportunity, and if the stock can settle down a bit, he wouldn’t be surprised if it can head back to $1,200. But he says it’s probably going to $1,050 first.”
“For five years, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet survived everything that the bears had to throw at them, and each time they came out stronger than before,” Cramer said. “The charts, as interpreted by the incredible Bob Lang, suggest that this time may be no different. He does expect Alphabet to pull back some more before it can find its footing. But as for Facebook, Amazon and Netflix, he’s optimistic. Me? I remain a FANG stalwart.”