Diversify out of FAANG and into consumer stocks, Wall Street bull says

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One of Wall Street’s biggest bulls is shunning new big tech investments in favor of consumer plays.

According to Crossmark Global Investments’ Victoria Fernandez, consumer stocks should help drive the market rally’s next leg up.

“The consumer has been so strong,” the firm’s chief market strategist said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation ” segment. “There was a lot of concern at the end of last year on what the consumer was going to do. But look, we’ve had good retail sales. Spending numbers are good. Average hourly earnings are good.”

Fernandez, who is responsible for $5 billion in assets under management, believes big tech, along with FAANG names Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet have run too far, too fast since the December low.

“We are invested in that tech sector, and we have a couple of the FAANG names. But we’ve started to look at other areas of the market,” said Fernandez.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR fund has rallied more than 36% since the December low. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF, which tracks cyclical consumer names, has lagged big tech. It’s up 17% in that same period.

“A couple of the names that we’ve done recently: McDonald’s and Estee Lauder, ” said Fernandez. “It’s a consumer play on one side, and also a value play as well. Both of those names have reported this week and had better than expected earnings.”

Fernandez expects the bullish picture to become clearer in a couple of weeks — when the nation’s biggest retailers begin reporting quarterly results.

“The consumer has some strength. Seventy-three percent of the economy is services. I think they’re going to do well,” Fernandez said.

Disclosure: In addition to McDonald’s and Estee Lauder, Crossmark Global Investments owns shares of Facebook, Alphabet and Apple. Hernandez personally owns shares of Netflix and Amazon.

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