Analysts (metaphorically) took note of Facebook (FB) teetering on a key support at its 200-day moving average (DMA) and rushed to the rescue. Two analyst reports helped confirm support with a 3.9% gain following Friday’s 2.3% gain. Another analyst report after hours should keep the rocket fuel burning going into earnings next week.
BMO took solace in Apple’s (AAPL) retreat from threats to tighten privacy requirements for apps as a prime driver for increasing its price target from $270 to $325. The BMO analyst upgraded FB from market perform to outperform given the current pullback sufficiently priced in the headwinds of anti-trust and political pressures. KeyBanc hiked its price target on FB to $345 given what it sees as strong “tailwinds” across the ecosystem of internet advertising as the economy reopens.
After-hours, J.P. Morgan (JPM) joined the rescue crew with a buy recommendation to run contrary to “FANG fatigue.” J.P. Morgan placed a $330 price target on FB and cited valuations attractive relative to the market. A broad list of drivers support the upgrade: “Ad acceleration…product diversification with new surfaces to monetize, including Reels and FB Shops/Instagram Checkout; and margin expansion potential since the initial operating expenditure guidance is likely conservative.”
I earlier made a case to bet on FB confirming a 200DMA breakdown instead of confirming 200DMA support. All this analyst pressure runs counter to my primary trading thesis and proves out my overall observation that any and all negative news for FB soon enough gets bought. I thought this time the downward pressure would sustain long enough for a bearish trade. Silly me.
Facebook will now likely enjoy positive momentum going into earnings after market on January 27th. I am changing my tune at least as long as FB remains above 200DMA support. I will dump what is left of my FB put options and look to focus on entries going long. Facebook’s next big test will come with downtrending resistance at its 50DMA, currently around $273. Note that all the above analyst price targets place FB at all-time highs. As a result, if FB confirms a 50DMA breakout AFTER earnings, I will pivot further to make longer-term plays for those targets.
At the time of writing, analysts as a group are very bullish on Facebook: 17 strong buys, 24 buys, 1 hold, 1 underperform, and 1 sell.
Be careful out there!
Full disclosure: long FB puts, long AAPL calls