Has the market been deFANGed?

Familiar growth names have led during the market’s rise — and its fall. So what may come next?

Time to read: 3 min

Investors have been predicting the end of the current bull market for years, but it’s continued to age well. From 2009 through 2017, the total return of the S&P 500 Index was positive every year.1 And even after a volatile autumn, the index was still in the green for 2018 as November came to a close. But there’s one month left to go in the year, and volatility has recently increased among the FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google/Alphabet2). This has led to investor concerns as these stocks have led the market on the upside and the downside. So is this finally the end of the bull market? I believe the recent FANG underperformance has less to do with the companies themselves, and more to do with the overall macro environment. With no clear case for continued underperformance, I expect these companies to recover from the recent selloff.

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‘Technology companies’ can’t be contained by just one sector

GICS launches a new sector to reflect the realities of the modern economy

Time to read: 2 min

As I’ve written in this blog before, trying to define the technology sector has become more difficult over the past decade. Technology utilization throughout the economy is ubiquitous, making it difficult to imagine any company, regardless of its sector, outperforming its peers without effectively implementing technology. As a reaction to the diverging drivers of many companies in today’s economy, the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) has implemented major changes to reclassify the official sector designation for many stocks. So what does this mean for investors?

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The game-changing potential of blockchain technology

Bitcoin has dominated headlines, but the future of financial transactions could very well be delivered via blockchain technology

Time to read: 3 min

Over the past year, it’s been next to impossible to avoid a conversation or news story on bitcoin. It went from a relatively arcane subject to possibly the most discussed topic within financial markets across both Wall Street and Main Street. (It certainly didn’t hurt that 2017 bitcoin returns were over 1,300%1). Now, after about a year of (perhaps) irrational bitcoin exuberance (and the 2018 reversal of more than half its gains from last year1), many are looking at the underlying technology as the true game-changer. While it is unlikely that bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies will soon upend how we all transact, I believe that blockchain has the potential to reshape the global economy as we know it.

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Artificial intelligence: What is it, and why are companies adopting it?

Predictive analytics is transforming large data sets into actionable items

Time to read: 3 min

Technology companies are known for innovation, and it doesn’t take long for a revolutionary new technology to take hold and become a part of people’s daily lives. In my view, investors shouldn’t be threatened by technology. Rather, they should be skeptical of companies not utilizing technology to its fullest potential.

One common theme we find when considering the largest companies within the Nasdaq-100 Index is the early embrace of artificial intelligence (AI). Even the chief executive officer of Alphabet (the parent company of Google) acknowledged the importance of artificial intelligence in the company’s first quarter 2016 earnings call.1 While not all companies

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From bricks to clicks: The shifting sands of retailing

The advent of online retailing has created a new class of companies that can effectively leverage technology

Time to read: 3 min

With the holiday season upon us, retail companies are trying to close out the year on a strong note after a rough stretch. So far in 2017, more than 6,700 store closings have been announced in the United States — more than in any year on record.1 Although these numbers may sound dire, traditional retailing isn’t dead yet. Rather, the nature of retailing has simply shifted.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a barometer of retailing trends

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