Although most investors consider the venerable Dow Jones as the benchmark index, in reality, folks should instead consider names like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). After all, an investment toward Alphabet stock gives you wide-ranging exposure to the most relevant and lucrative sectors.
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Unfortunately, being relevant doesn’t necessarily protect you from a broader market downturn. Since the U.S.-China trade war has ratcheted up several notches in intensity, equities have not offered much stability. That goes for the GOOGL stock price, along with the market values of the internet giant’s peers.
Of course, it’s now very tempting to go discount shopping on big tech firms. For instance, Alphabet stock has shed more than 4% since gapping up on July 26. During this same period, rivals AMZN and FB have lost 6% and 8%, respectively.
This gamble might pay off for the speculator. But if your investing style leans more to the conservative end of the spectrum, there’s nothing wrong with waiting. Yes, the GOOGL stock price below $1,200 is enticing. Based on the longer-term chart, shares really want to bust through the $1,300 level decisively.
However, we could have a very ugly recession threat on our hands. Primarily, President Donald Trump may be losing control of the situation. Recently, he declared himself the “Chosen One” as he defended his aggressive stance on China. To me, this is the sound of panicking and bodes poorly for Alphabet stock in the interim.
That’s because history shows us – like the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act – that wrong high-level choices have severe consequences. Therefore, you don’t want to go crazy on GOOGL stock.
The Risky, but Fundamentally Sound Case for Alphabet Stock
But should you avoid GOOGL stock indefinitely?
I’m going to be upfront. If you want both a defensive position and to stay in equities, I’d go for the boring companies: Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB), and Home Depot (NYSE:HD). These are companies that have consistent demand. In my opinion, they’re too boring to disrupt, giving them an Amazon moat.
However, if you can handle some risk, I’d buy Alphabet stock on the next big dip. Why? Ultimately, the tech giant is a play on everything relevant.
Principally, most analysts focus on the dominant presence that Alphabet levers in the U.S. digital-ad space. Together with Facebook, the fearsome duo takes home about 60% market share. Obviously, this is a compelling reason to consider Alphabet, especially if the GOOGL stock price tanks. Equity losses won’t immediately translate to a loss in ad dominance.
While competitors like Amazon are butting into the arena, GOOGL has a very sizable lead. And this synergizes well with Alphabet’s supremacy in the search engine space.
Let’s zoom out to a wider angle. Even if we suffer a recession, we won’t suddenly transition to a “Mad Max”-like society. Instead, people will do normal things, like look for a job. For such a purpose, Google (and Facebook) will see a lift in traffic, helping Alphabet stock move higher.
Also, businesses desperate to gain traction will likely advertise through Google. Again, just because we’re in a recession doesn’t mean our behaviors will incur a paradigm shift. In this digitized economy, traditional advertising channels have become obsolete. Thus, if you want to do anything, you must do so digitally. It’s unfair perhaps, but it’s also a driving force for Alphabet stock.
Multi-faceted Tech Business Supports GOOGL Stock
If the digital-ad presence wasn’t enough of a convincing reason, then investors should zoom out even wider.
Whether or not you agree with the Trump administration’s stance on China, the Asian power has compromised U.S. interests. In his world view, President Trump must hold China accountable for their actions.
But underlining the events that led up to the trade war is China’s desire to dominate world affairs. Their government even has a name for it: “Made in China 2025.” And it’s not just the second-biggest economy that’s tired of American geopolitical hegemony. In recent years, Russia’s actions harken back to the Soviet Union era.
What does this have to do with Alphabet stock? The tech firm attained leadership in many of the categories for which our adversaries wish to dominate, such as artificial intelligence. Right now, U.S. government agencies are taking a close look at big tech’s anti-competitive behaviors.
But that prosecution will probably fade into the background if we have a recession, especially one related to an adversary. Instead, an economic downturn could translate to a rallying cry for GOOGL stock.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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