Cracks in these former leaders predict widespread drop, strategist says

This month may not be the time to buy tech.

The once popular FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet), which largely flourished in 2015, have fallen a respective 4.6, 2.5, 12.8 and 7 percent in June.

But investors' concerns this month over the Federal Reserve and a postponed interest rate hike, along with the Brexit, have factored into moving out of momentum stocks and more toward defensive names.

Erin Gibbs, equity chief investment officer at S&P Investment Advisory Services, says investors seem to be engaging in a "risk-off" pattern of trading, flocking to less dicey stocks, notably consumer staples, energy, telecom and utilities.

"And then on top of it, when you look at the guys that have actually been holding us back and hurting the index this month, it's info tech and consumer discretionary that have actually been negative this month," Gibbs told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Thursday. "So we clearly see, within the sectors, defensive plays."

Downturns in FANG stocks could also indicate a larger trend of risk in the market.

Lawrence McDonald, head of global macro strategy at ACG Analytics, says FANG stocks falling as "leaders" in the market typically comes before a more widespread drop.

"As risk is approaching us, people don't want to pay up for extreme valuation, so there's really nosebleed-level valuation. Facebook's trading nearly 18 times, for example, Twitter is trading four and a half to five times, so just as the great bull markets get tired, people don't want to pay up for risk," said McDonald on "Trading Nation," referring to the companies' valuations.

"I think we're going to be trading in a sideways pattern," added Gibbs, citing tight valuations overall in U.S. markets, "so I don't see it as a buying opportunity just yet."


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Brian Sullivan is co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F,1PM-3PM ET), one of the network's longest running programs, as well as the host of the daily investing program "Trading Nation." He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and other NBC properties.

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