It feels like 2012 all over again, but Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) shareholders will certainly take. The iPad maker’s 12.6% year-to-date gain has pumped its market value to nearly $724 billion at this writing, making California-based Apple the first U.S. company to sport a market cap north of $700 billion.
And that makes Apple the centerpiece of a conversation that was rehashed thousands of times several years ago: The stock’s growing prominence in an array of well-known, heavily traded exchange traded funds.
While alternatively-weighted ETF have over $400 billion in assets across nearly 480 funds, cap-weighted funds still dominate the ETF landscape. Translation: Owners of some popular ETFs, such as the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK), the largest technology sector ETF, are seeing their Apple exposure increase as the company’s market value does the same. [A Look at Alternative ETF Weighting]
Increased weights to Apple are happening in short for cap-weighted ETFs. XLK is a prime example. On Jan. 27, the day Apple reported fiscal first-quarter results, XLK entered the day with a 16.5% weight to Apple. At Tuesday’s close, XLK’s Apple allocation had ballooned to 17.7%, 900 basis points above the ETF’s weight to Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT), its second largest holding.
The iShares U.S. Technology ETF (NYSEArca: IYW) had an Apple weight of just under 19% heading into Jan. 27. Apple now accounts for 20.3% of that ETF’s weight, more than double the fund’s allocation to Microsoft, also IYW’s second-largest holding. [Apple ETFs Quiet Ahead of Earnings]
The Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEArca: VGT) is another “Apple ETF” that investors should keep an eye on too see how much the stock’s footprint in that fund has grown. It is likely a substantial increase. Unlike rival ETF issuers, Vanguard does not update its funds’ holdings on a daily basis, opting to do so once a month. VGT’s latest holdings update, from Dec. 31, 2014, shows an Apple weight of 15.3%. With the stock’s 12.6% gain this year, VGT’s Apple exposure is now likely well over 16%.