Internet Stock Catalysts: What's Ahead, Who Will Benefit And Who's At Risk

Internet stocks have made double-digit gains in 2017, propelling the tech sector to record highs. While some bears look for signs of a looming bubble — with the memory of the painful sting of the 2000 bubble in mind — others search the blue skies for signs of catalysts that could push the space even higher.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post issued an updated calendar Tuesday of company catalysts that could impact the tech tickers. Below is a list of some notable news items that could move Internet names in the remainder of September:

  • Sept. 22: Apple Inc AAPL’s iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are due to become available on this day. Bank of America sees new functionality in the long-awaited devices being a positive catalyst for Internet usage, particularly for social media companies Facebook Inc FB, Twitter Inc TWTR and Snap Inc SNAP.
  • Sept. 26: Litigation continues in the European Union’s beef with Alphabet Inc GOOGL’s Google over comparison shopping, Android distribution and AdSense. Google needs to enact sufficient changes to shopping searches by this date or face additional fines.
  • Sept. 28:, Inc AMZN will stream 10 Thursday night NFL games on Prime Video. This could prove to be accretive to Prime Video subscriptions, while putting companies like Twitter (which has also dipped its toes in live sports streaming) at risk.
  • Sept. 29: On this date, shareholders of Angie’s List Inc ANGI will vote to approve or disapprove its merger with IAC IAC’s HomeAdvisor, for which they’ll receive either $8.50 in cash per share or shares of the new combined company, which some analysts value at as much as $11 per share.

As far as mega cap tech stocks go, Bank of America continues to prefer Facebook, Post said. Under less regulatory scrutiny than Google, the company could also see increased monetization from its messaging apps. Other top ideas the firm maintains include Expedia Inc EXPE, Yelp Inc YELP and IAC.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund XLK ETF was up 0.49 percent in early afternoon trading Tuesday.

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