While semiconductor exchange traded funds (ETFs) are down slightly so far today, the outlook for the sector has improved with some first-quarter numbers.

Worldwide semiconductor sales rose 3.8% in the first quarter from the same period in 2007, reports Melinda Peer for Forbes. Sales did fall, however, from the fourth quarter of 2007, down 5.1%. It’s not cause for alarm, though, because the fourth quarter typically has stronger sales, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Even though the U.S. economy has slowed, consumers in other countries are snapping up electronic products – especially personal computers. Sales growth in the United States for the first quarter was 2.3%. The SIA anticipates that global demand will remain strong for the rest of the year.

Watch these funds and wait until they move above their 200-day moving averages before considering leaping in:

  • iShares S&P GSTI Semiconductor Index Fund (IGW), down 6.9% year-to-date
  • PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors Portfolio (PSI), down 1.7% year-to-date
  • SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD), down 2.7% year-to-date
  • Merrill Lynch Semiconductor HOLDRs (SMH), down 2.6% year-to-date


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.