The Nasdaq-100 PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), one of the most actively traded ETFs, has been lagging way behind the market ever since top holding Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) began its sharp pullback after topping out just above $700 a share in September 2012.
The Nasdaq-100 ETF is down 1% the past six months, versus a 7.5% advance for SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY). Apple shares are down about 36% from their all-time high set last year.
Apple is still the largest stock in QQQ, which weights its holdings by market cap, at 13% of the portfolio. The ETF is comprised of the 100 largest nonfinancial stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market and is seen as a liquid proxy to trade the tech sector.
Shares of Apple are higher for March and are testing the 50-day simple moving average, which has been a strong resistance line the past several months. If the stock can get back on track, it would provide a boost to QQQ given Apple’s large weighting in the ETF.
On a positive note, Tarquin Coe, technical analyst at Investors Intelligence, points out the Nasdaq-100 fund has maintained a steady uptrend off its November low.