The "Magnificent Seven" – Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Tesla – are more than just the most valuable companies in the stock market. They are trailblazers in key technology sectors like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, online gaming, and hardware and software innovation. This article, written by the team at Déjà Partners, explores their transformation from small startups to tech giants that are now dominating the S&P 500, accounting for a staggering 29% of its market value as of 19th January 2024.
The Origin: FANG to FAANG
The journey to the “Magnificent Seven” began with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, a prominent personality known for his keen insights into the stock market. In 2013, Cramer introduced the world to the acronym FANG, encapsulating four tech giants: Facebook (now Meta), Amazon, Netflix, and Google (now part of Alphabet Inc.). This catchy term quickly caught on, symbolising the explosive growth and market sway of these tech behemoths.
In 2017, the acronym evolved into FAANG with the inclusion of Apple, acknowledging the Cupertino-based company’s growing dominance and its integral role in shaping technology trends. The expanded acronym reflected a broader scope of technological influence, ranging from social media and e-commerce to streaming services and cutting-edge hardware.
The Birth of the Magnificent Seven
While the original FAANG stocks continued their upward trajectory, the tech landscape saw the emergence of other high-profile companies, leading the market to new heights.
In 2023, this evolving dynamic led Bank of America analyst Michael Hartnett to coin a new phrase, the “Magnificent Seven,” borrowing the title from the classic 1960s Western film. This new title was not merely a nod to the past but a recognition of the present and future of the tech sector.
From Humble Beginnings to Tech Giants
The journey from modest beginnings to global dominance is a path less travelled, yet brilliantly navigated by the Magnificent Seven of the tech world. Each of these companies, starting from rudimentary setups like garages, dorm rooms, and small offices, has grown into a titan in its respective field, reshaping industries and setting new standards for innovation and business success. Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Tesla have not only redefined the boundaries of technology and commerce but have also become integral parts of our daily lives:
- Alphabet (Google): Founded in 1998, Google started as a novel search engine from research at Stanford University. Today, as Alphabet, it leads in online advertising, cloud computing, and AI.
- Amazon: Beginning as an online bookstore started by Jeff Bezos in 1994, Amazon now dominates global e-commerce and cloud computing, with ventures in AI and digital streaming.
- Apple: Apple’s start in 1976 in a garage led to its status as a major player in smartphones, digital services, and wearables.
- Meta (Facebook): Launched from a dorm room in 2004, Facebook, now Meta, is a key player in social media, virtual reality, and digital advertising.
- Microsoft: Since 1975, Microsoft has evolved from a small software company to a leader in operating systems, enterprise software, and cloud services.
- Nvidia: Nvidia, started in 1993, has moved beyond graphics cards to become the dominant player in AI.
- Tesla: Founded in 2003, Tesla has become a leader in electric vehicles and sustainable energy.
Stock Market Performance
Since October 2022, these companies have collectively seen a 117% increase in stock value, significantly outperforming the 493 companies in the S&P 500. So much so that the Magnificent Seven currently account for 29% of the S&P 500’s market value.
However, among the Magnificent Seven, performance has varied. Nvidia, known for its GPU and AI chipmaking, saw an impressive 417% increase, outshining Amazon’s more modest 38% gain. Despite a significant 79% rise, Microsoft, being the largest stock in the index, had a more substantial impact than Meta’s notable 198% gain during the same timeframe.
The Magnificent Seven’s evolution from small startups to trillion-dollar companies is a is a remarkable story of vision, innovation and strategic vision. Each began with a simple yet ground-breaking idea, from Google’s genesis as a search engine in a university setting to Tesla’s bold foray into electric vehicles. Their evolution reflects not only the dynamic nature of the tech industry but also the potential of startups to radically alter market landscapes and consumer habits.
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