Apple and Netflix could be your best FAANG bets heading into 2019, traders say

It was the trade the Street couldn't get enough of in the beginning of the year. The high-flying "FAANG" names soared to record after record. But 2018 is shaping up to end with a very different story for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google's parent, Alphabet.

All five stocks are set to close the quarter down double digits, and are all currently trading in bear market territory, with the exception of Alphabet which has fallen 18 percent from its 52-week high.

But as tech has turned over in tandem with the broader market correction, the sell-off could create an attractive entry point for investors to pick up stocks that may have been unfairly punished.

Two top strategists believe there's value to be found in the FAANG names heading into 2019. founder Todd Gordon is watching Apple, while Erin Gibbs, portfolio manager at S&P Global Market Intelligence, prefers Netflix.

"I'm already in Apple. I like the pullback here in Apple on the weekly," Gordon said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation," referring to the stock's 200-week moving average.

He's watching $145 as a key level of support for Apple — about $11 lower than the stock's Thursday close of $156.15 — noting that if it dips below that level he'll "probably cut" his position.

That said, Gordon is seeking protection since he thinks jitters in the broader market could drag the tech giant lower. "I am hedged. I do have concerns about the downside in the overall market," he said.

Gibbs, on the other hand, prefers Netflix among the FAANG names. She likes the company due to its growth potential, and also because it doesn't face the same regulatory pressures as Facebook and Alphabet, for instance.

"Their [Netflix's] growth really is exceptional," she said on "Trading Nation." "They're able to grow earnings not only from increasing subscriber growth, but they're actually able to raise prices, which is kind of unique in this environment."

WATCH: How Netflix has made long-term investors rich

Netflix looks set to end the year with a more than 33 percent gain, making it by far the top-performing FAANG name of 2018. But it has pulled back since hitting an all-time intraday high of $423.21 on June 21. It's dropped nearly 40 percent from that high-water mark and is now firmly trading in a bear market.

But Gibbs points out that investors believes it will climb back toward $400 in 2019. According to FactSet estimates, the average Street target on the stock is $399 — an upside of 56 percent from Thursday's closing value of $255.57.

Finally, she believes Netflix is a safer name to own since it doesn't face scrutiny from Washington like some of its peers.

"It [Netflix] doesn't have the regulatory overhang, so they're not being dragged in front of a congressional hearing every other week. ... So just overall Netflix is one of the stocks we have, and one of our favorites within the FAANGs," Gibbs said.

Disclosure: Todd Gordon owns shares of Apple. S&P Global Market Intelligence owns shares of Netflix.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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