Intel (NasdaqGS: INTC) shares were off 2% in premarket trading Thursday following a downgrade to sell at Goldman Sachs. The weakness was set to weigh on exchange traded funds investing in semiconductor stocks that have performed well lately.

Goldman cut the chipmaker to sell from neutral and said it is most concerned “about the impact of tablets, as we continue to believe that roughly one-third of tablets are cannibalistic to PCs,” according to a Bloomberg report.

Intel represents 19.3% of Semiconductor HOLDRS (AMEX: SMH), an ETF with $565 million in assets. It was unchanged before the bell Thursday as a few thousand shares traded in premarket.

Intel boosted the semiconductor ETF earlier this month when it boosted its quarterly dividend by 16%. [Intel Dividend Fires Up Semiconductor ETFs]

Semiconductor HOLDRS

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of John Spence, 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.

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