The recent repudiation of some Internet and social media stocks has spurred speculation that the U.S. equity markets are on the cusp of a second technology bubble bursting this century.
Sector weights for some marquee broad market exchange traded funds, including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) and the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ) are telling a different story, particularly when it comes to technology sector exposure.
“At the height of the Internet bubble in March 2000, the Information Technology sector was 34.5% of the entire S&P 500. Eleven years prior, it had been just 5.9% of the index. And just two and a half years later at the October 2002 lows, tech was 12.8% of the S&P 500, says Nicholas Colas,chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group, a global brokerage company based in New York.
SPY entered Friday with an 18.53% weight to tech. QQQ’s tech weight today is close to what it was when the Internet/tech bubble burst, but the ETF’s weight to health care has more than doubled. More importantly, the NASDAQ-100, QQQ’s underlying index, had a P/E of almost 34 at the height of the tech bubble. QQQ had a P/E of 19.74 at the end of the first quarter. [QQQ Evolves for the Better]
Looking at some other sectors, financial services is still a long way from reclaiming its pre-financial crisis status as the largest S&P 500 sector.
“During the peak of the housing boom-inspired equity rally of the 2000s, Financials were 20.1% of the S&P 500. That was in October 2007. Not even two years later in March 2009, that weighting had collapsed to 8.9%. That’s the same level as all the way back in 1989,” said Colas.
Financials are 16.11% of SPY. The Guggenheim S&P Equal Weight ETF (NYSEArca: RSP) has a 16.33% weight to financials and a 12.77 tech weight. Consumer discretionary is RSP’s largest sector allocation at 16.36%. [Watch the Equal Weight S&P 500 ETF]
Looking at the average weights of sectors in the S&P 500 over time can be instructive.