Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google still rule tech

Facebook CEO: 'We're a technology company. We're not a media company.'
Facebook CEO: 'We're a technology company. We're not a media company.'

Facebook's outlook for 2017 disappointed investors, and the stock fell about 5% Thursday morning as a result. But Facebook is still red hot on Wall Street.

So are three other tech stocks that make up the so-called FANG of Four.

Facebook (FB). Amazon (AMZN). Netflix (NFLX). Google (GOOGL). Sure, Google is technically Alphabet now. But its ticker symbol still starts with G. Besides, FANA doesn't roll off the tongue. FAAN? AFNA? Nah.

None of those acronyms sound as cool as FANG -- a fitting moniker given how much bite the stocks have had this year.

Shares of Facebook are up 15% so far in 2016, even after factoring in Thursday's big drop. Amazon is up nearly 15% as well.

Netflix, which was in the red for much of the year due to concerns about its growth, is now up 7% following a stellar earnings report that showed big gains in international subscribers.

Amazon and Netflix even rallied Thursday while Facebook's stock was sinking. So it seems as if investors are no longer treating the four as if they should all rise and fall together. And that makes sense.

Related: Facebook's incredible ad sales machine is slowing down

The FANG stocks have some things in common, most notably the fact that they're betting big on video content. But that's about it.

Netflix has little in the way of commercials. Its money comes from subscriptions.

Google's lifeblood continues to be advertising dollars. Ditto for Facebook.

And even though Amazon is diversifying and now has a huge cloud business, it still gets the bulk of its revenue from selling stuff. That's why some would argue that it's really more a retailer that uses tech as opposed to a pure tech company.

And Google? It is the laggard of the group, up a mere 1% and about 7% below its all-time high.

Despite concerns about how much Google is investing on money losing, moonshot "other bets" like Fiber, Nest and health care units Verily and Calico, the core search, YouTube and Android businesses continue to churn out big profits.

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Investors are still infatuated with these four tech companies.

Several Wall Street analysts think Facebook's drop is an overreaction.

Investors shouldn't be surprised that revenue growth will inevitably slow given how strong it has been this year. Nor should they be shocked to learn that CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to invest more in the company, even if it hurts short-term profits.

Related: Google and Amazon are in a race to be $1,000 stocks

At the end of the day, Facebook and other tech stocks may continue to be stars on Wall Street as long as they keep proving that they have long-term momentum.

Zuckerberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Netflix chief Reed Hastings and Google/Alphabet's Larry Page and Sergey Brin all know that you have to spend money to make money.

That philosophy may occasionally tick off myopically minded investors and traders who fret about how many pennies per share a company beats estimates by. But the focus on the future is the main reason why we talk about FANG in the first place.

None of these companies would be market leaders if their management teams rested on their laurels instead of constantly trying to figure out what's next so they can stay on top.

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