Among the better performing areas of the market ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, semiconductor stocks and sector-related exchange traded funds are hitting new heights.
The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NasdaqGM: SOXX) rose 1.8% Wednesday to a new intraday high. The ETF has jumped 9.7% over the past month and increased 26.5% year-to-date.
SOXX’s underlying benchmark index, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, also reached its best intraday level in over thirteen years.
Chipmaker Analog Devices (NasdaqGS: ADI) led gains, surging 5.4% Wednesday. ADI is 3.9% of SOXX.
The tech sub-sector is strengthening, along with the broader U.S. markets, on optimism over the holiday shopping season and economic expansion.
“Economic numbers in general have been good, and that optimism is following through,” Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co., said in a Bloomberg article. “It could be a good retail season, and low gas prices are making a difference.”
Demand for semiconductors could rise on holiday shopping for smartphone upgrades, computers and other personal devices.
“PC sales have been a drag and there may be some hope we see a pick-up,” Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments, said in a Reuters article, pointing to a potential increase in consumer spending ahead to support semiconductors.