Tech ETFs Can Keep Climbing

Just over 130 exchange traded funds hit new all-time highs Tuesday and there were some technology sector funds among that list, but not the most venerable names, namely the Powershares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ) and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK).

QQQ is not a dedicated tech ETF. Rather, it is the NASDAQ-100 tracking ETF, but that translates to a 60.1% weight to the tech sector. QQQ, the sixth-largest U.S. ETF by assets, closed at its highest levels in over 14 years Tuesday. QQQ is now up nearly 18% year-to-date, a figure that the combined gains for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average does not eclipse and there could be in store for the tech-heavy fund. [Getting Tactical With ETFs]

After the tech bubble burst in 2000, QQQ spent the next two-plus years badly trailing the S&P 500, but that old lag could serve as the springboard to new highs.

“Now it’s (QQQ) really broken out to the upside, retracing that stark underperformance from 2000 to 2002,”said Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer & Co., in an interview with CNBC. “Over the coming years, I think that it continues to retrace that. I think this remains leadership.”

Wald notes that QQQ’s relative strength recently broke stiff multi-year resistance, according to CNBC.

An array of familiar names are bolstering QQQ’s run to record highs. Of the 54 NASDAQ-listed large- and mega-caps that have risen at least 20% this year, eight are found among QQQ’s top-10 holdings. That group of eight includes Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL), Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT), Intel (NasdaqGS: INTC) and Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB).

Impressively, QQQ has easily topped the S&P 500 and the Dow with essentially no help from Amazon (NasdaqGS: AMZN). If not for a recent rally, Amazon would still be in a bear market. As it is, QQQ has mustered an 18% year-to-date gain while Amazon has fallen 18.5%. [Amazon Weighs on These ETFs]