Last week was a good one for semiconductor-related exchange traded funds (ETFs). The sector lately has been dispensing positive performance reports that provided a small surge for the technology industry.

Investor optimism that the sector is stabilizing and that companies are doing better in the near term has helped push up stock prices, reports Jennifer Cummings for The Wall Street Journal.

FTN Equity Capital Markets analyst JoAnne Feeney believes that the technology sector is the foundation for the ongoing economic recovery. Feeney also noted the improved outlook for the notebook semiconductor market. (What gives tech ETFs their power?)

Early Thursday, Fitch Ratings raised its 2010 outlook for the information-technology sector, expecting future growth in global spending for the industry.

This week’s gains in the sector were kicked off by Altera Corp. (NASDAQ: ALTR), with a raised fourth-quarter sales projection of 15% to 18%, compared to the previous forecast in the 6% to 10% range, according to RTTNews. Most other sector components have also shown strong upward movements so far this week after some key companies raised their future outlook. (Why semiconductor ETFs are rallying).

For more information on the semiconductor industry, visit our semiconductor category.

  • iShares S&P GSTI Semiconductor (NYSEArca: IGW): up 62.7% year-to-date
  • SPDR S&P Semiconductor (NYSEArca: XSD): up 81.5% year-to-date
  • Semiconductor HOLDRs (NYSEArca: SMH): up 53.9% year-to-date

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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.