We have spent some time speaking about the SPX (S&P 500 Index) challenging its 200-day moving average recently as well as approaching near term highs (1292.66 was briefly touched 9 trading sessions ago). [S&P 500 ETFs Testing 200-Day Average]
However, even with this recent surge in equities, the index still is a good 7% off of its April 2011 high. The technology sector however, continues to display leadership in this market, as the NDX (Nasdaq 100 Index) closed Tuesday a shade above 2400 and is within shouting distance of its 2011 and multi-year high of 2438.44, which was triggered in the early part of this summer.
QQQ (PowerShares Nasdaq 100) is the most familiar ETF name in the space, as the Nasdaq 100 index itself is disproportionately weighted towards the technology sector (63.39% of the index). Top holdings in QQQ include AAPL (15.01%), MSFT (8.86%), ORCL (6.18%), GOOG (5.55%), and INTC (4.76%).
For those looking to play a potential breakout to new highs in the Nasdaq 100 from a short term trading standpoint, TQQQ (ProShares UltraPro QQQ) may have some appeal as it aims to deliver 3 times the daily returns of the index.
Additionally, QLD (ProShares Ultra QQQ) delivers 2 times the daily returns of the Nasdaq 100. For those managers who are looking to specifically hone in on the technology exposure that the Nasdaq 100 index has to offer, funds such as IYW (iShares DJ U.S. Technology Sector) and XLK (SPDR Technology Select Sector) may be intriguing choices.
The two funds are up 4.82% and 5.24% respectively, year to date. QTEC (First Trust Nasdaq 100 Technology Sector) as it isolates the technology names from the Nasdaq 100 Index in its fund methodology.
RYT (Rydex S&P Equal Weighted Technology) may also garner interest as its equal weighting index methodology allows it to avoid the top heaviness issue that is very pronounced in other tech related ETFs where the likes of AAPL, GOOG, INTC, MSFT, and others tend to dominate the index weightings due to their very high market capitalizations.
Still other plays in the space include VGT (Vanguard Information Technology), MTK (SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology), FXL (First Trust Technology AlphaDEX), PTF (PowerShares Dynamic Technology Sector), and a slew of other ETFs that drill down even further in concentrating on technology sub-sectors such as Internet, Semiconductors, Drives, Software, or Networking.
Leverage also exists in the Technology space, as TYH (Direxion Technology Bull 3X) is popular among managers who are looking to play a bullish breakout from a short term trading standpoint. We will closely monitor the near term action in the Tech sector and more broadly in the Nasdaq 100 Index as well, to see if this recent rally indeed has legs.
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