A 9% pullback in Wall Street darling Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) this week caused the tech sector to lag the broader market and illustrated the stock’s outsized impact in the highly traded PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ).
The Nasdaq-100 ETF was on track for a 1.5% weekly setback in afternoon trading Friday, while the S&P 500 was flat for the week and the Dow rose fractionally.
Apple shares have endured a volatile week on elevated trading volume. The stock, which accounts for about 17% of the Nasdaq-100 fund QQQ, bounced in the second half of November after peaking around $700 in September.
Now Apple is under pressure again. The stock slid Wednesday on news that some clearing firms are raising margin requirements. [Apple Drags on QQQ]
“Apple has been trying to navigate trying times on the stock market this week and over the last three months as the bear fear takes hold of the world’s most valuable company’s shares. Apple’s stock price has fallen by more than 20% over the last three months, sparking some intense Wall Street scrutiny,” Wall St. Cheat Sheet reports.
However, Apple CEO Tim Cook in a television interview this week warned investors not to lose faith in the vaunted seller of iPhones and iPads. “Don’t bet against us,” Cook told NBC’s Brian Williams.
This week’s top ETF performers were concentrated in the emerging markets category, including Vietnam, Turkey, Brazil and China.
In commodities, products tracking coffee, steel and palladium led the way.
Conversely, the steepest decliners included gasoline, master limited partnerships, gold miners and homebuilders.
The top three ETFs this week were Market Vectors Vietnam (NYSEArca: VNM), iShares MSCI Turkey (NYSEArca: TUR) and Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap (NYSEArca: BRF). They gained at least 3%.
The bottom three ETFs were U.S. Gasoline Fund (NYSEArca: UGA), Credit Suisse Cushing 30 MLP (NYSEArca: MLPN) and U.S. Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO) with losses of more than 3%.
In next week’s economic data, look for reports on the trade deficit, retail sales and inflation. However, the big event will be the Federal Reserve announcement on Wednesday, followed by a press conference with Fed chief Ben Bernanke.
Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own QQQ and AAPL.