Apple, Microsoft, Salesforce stay top picks at Wedbush, says focus on 'secular winners'

Jun. 21, 2022 10:42 AM ETApple Inc. (AAPL), MSFT, CRMPANW, ZS, TENB, FTNT, CYBR, AMZN, GOOG, GOOGL, ORCLBy: Chris Ciaccia, SA News Editor9 Comments

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) are still Wedbush Securities' top stocks in the tech sector, as the firm reminded investors to focus on "secular winners."

Analyst Dan Ives, who rates shares of all three companies outperform, noted that investors may well face a "very volatile" next few months, as the market tries to figure out if inflation has peaked and if the economy goes into a recession, what type it will be.

With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates akin to an "Olympic sprint" and global markets preparing for what he called a "Category 5 economic storm," the tech sector has split into a bifurcated area. Enterprise cloud, cyber security and certain pockets of IT budgets have held up according to Ives, while consumer-facing tech, digital advertising and companies that benefited from the work-from-home trends during the pandemic are slowing down.

"Importantly, we believe the Street is already baking in a mild recession into current tech stocks and the risk-reward set up (outside of a prolonged, harsh recession) is favorable for our top enterprise plays," Ives wrote in a note to clients.

Apple (AAPL) shares gained nearly 4% on Tuesday, while Microsoft (MSFT) and Salesforce (CRM) added 2.5% and 3.5%, respectively.

In addition, it's likely that cyber security names such as Palo Alto (PANW), Zscaler (ZS), Tenable (TENB), Fortinet (FTNT) and CyberArk (CYBR) will continue to see strength, given the continued geopolitical threats around the world, Ives added.

Additionally, the continued push to the cloud, which Ives said is only 40% complete, should help companies like Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) and Oracle (ORCL) remain part of the "massive digital growth wave."

Investment firm UBS recently said that Apple's (AAPL) iPhone shipments in China surged in May, up 13% year-over-year, even as overall shipments fell 9% year-over-year.

Woman hand rests on top cover of Apple Macbook Air

megaflopp/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

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