The Nasdaq Composite and the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGS: QQQ), the Nasdaq 100 tracking ETF, look a lot different today than when the technology bubble burst over a decade ago.
For QQQ, home to $43.4 billion in assets under management, and related ETFs, evolving gracefully may not be such a bad thing. That could prove to be the case even as the Nasdaq is nowhere close to its 2000 peak in a year in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 have made scores of record highs.
The Nasdaq, often viewed as “tech heavy” is still that, but no to the degree it was in 1999 or 2000. “Technology companies make up a smaller percentage of the index, roughly 42 percent, compared with 56 percent 13 years ago. The telecom industry is a little less than 2 percent, compared with 18 percent back then,” according to the Associated Press.
QQQ is heavier on tech with a 57.2% weight to that sector, but that sector’s evolution, particularly at the large-cap level, has proven favorable for the ETF. Nearly half of QQQ’s tech weight goes to Apple (NasdaqGM: AAPL), Microsoft (NasdaqGM: MSFT) and Google (NasdaqGM: GOOG).
All three sit on cash hoards that are bigger than the market values of many U.S. companies. Apple is now a dividend payer and one of this year’s biggest repurchasers of its own shares. Microsoft is not just a dividend payer, but a dividend grower, having more than doubled its payout in just the past three years. [A Technology ETF With a Dividend Twist]