We suspect that if folks did not realize that Facebook (FB) was the fifth largest weighting in the QQQ (PowerShares QQQ, Expense Ratio 0.20%), they know now after the thumping the stock took which eventually rippled throughout the Tech sector as the day wore on.
The impetus was a poorly received planned acquisition of a virtual reality wearable gear maker, Oculus. I’m 36 years old and have lived through three decades of “virtual reality” being billed as something that would change my life (think Dragon’s Lair, Tron, Commodore Amiga, Lawnmower Man, Cybermaxx), and then as soon as the video game is turned off or in this case, Oculus’ goggles are taken off, the user is back in the cold, harsh, real world.
Not that virtual reality isn’t a fun diversion in a pinch, it’s just not worth $2 billion. As one analyst noted yesterday, “Oculus has a lot of cool, very immersive applications.
At the same time, Oculus is very isolating, limiting its usefulness.” (Ron Gruia – Frost & Sullivan, CNN Money). This quotation above has me humming Gary Numan’s 1981 “Are Friends Electric?” actually. So, the usual Social Media suspects, FB (-6.9%), YELP (-2.1%), GOOG (-2.3%) once again weighed on the overall market through much of the afternoon session.
We can’t say that we didn’t try to warn readers to consider lightening up on SOCL (Global X Social Media, Expense Ratio 0.65%) as we mentioned the flagging performance several weeks back, and now the fund has registered 14 down days out of the last 17 days.
Since baseball season is upon us, that’s an unimpressive .214 batting average, and not what you look for in your ETF going into earnings season.
The fund tries to rally each morning, only to get squashed as the trading day progresses it seems lately, but investors do not seem to be panicking. The fund has actually attracted a net gain of $37 million in new assets YTD. And with earnings on the horizon for all of the aforementioned stocks, perhaps the fund will be attractive to those whom are not looking to take stock specific risk on any of these Social Media names as standalones, but instead would rather parse out the exposure across this newer “sector.”
Top holdings in SOCL currently look like the following: Tencent Holdings Ltd. (12.93%), FB (12.20%), LNKD (8.18%), SINA (7.42%), YELP (6.15%), ZNGA (5.89%), P (5.73%), TWTR (4.92%), GOOG (4.85%), and YNDX (4.18%) and all of these stocks have taken a thumping lately.
This fund is still one of a kind in terms of being able to play the Social Media sector, so it will likely continue to see month over month increases in trading volume as it has recently as long as the volatility in the underlying names keeps up in the short term.
Being that FB has been a mover lately, it makes sense to address other funds where the stock has a significant presence in terms of its individual index weighting. FPX (First Trust IPOX-100, Expense Ratio 0.60%) has an 11.64% weighting to the name while IPO (Renaissance IPO ETF, Expense Ratio 0.60%) has an 11.08% weighting.
PNQI (PowerShares Nasdaq Internet Portfolio, Expense Ratio 0.60%) has a 10.35% slice allocated to FB, while FDN (First Trust DJ Internet, Expense Ratio 0.60%), has a healthy 7.58% weighting to the stock. FDN by the way has traded absolutely off the wall trading volume the past three sessions, you should have a look.
We suspected FB would move “into” earnings season, as it typically does during its limited time in existence as a publicly traded company, but with earnings not expected until 4/30, we still have more than a month
of potential volatility in the stock and perhaps the sector.
Global X Social Media Index ETF
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