Adding to the concern surrounding chip stocks and the relevant ETFs is the notion that veracity of the semiconductor trade is now being threatened, which could prompt professional traders to take profits on what, to this point, has been a lengthy, rewarding trade from the long side.
“We highlight the Semiconductor industry because it has been one of the ‘monthly’ Sharpe Ratio trades since Q4 2012. Put another way, this has been a consensus professional long for quite some time and outside of a few intra-month instances, such as last October’s larger market retracement, it has been very easy to hold. In fact, we would go so far as to say that only biotechnology and the Internet (i.e. AAPL, GOOG, FB, etc.) are held in higher regard within US equities. So when we see benchmark indices in semiconductors (SOX Index) and biotechnology (NBI Index, XBI ETF -5.5% yesterday) ‘roll-over’ like this we start to worry a lot more about a larger market retracement than we normally do,” said Rareview Macro Founder Neil Azous in a note out Thursday.
Azous adds that any rush to buy the dip semiconductor stocks and ETFs will be limited due to weakness in marquee names, such as Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor.
There is something to that thesis. For the week ended March 25, investors pulled a combined $45 million from SMH and SOXX.
Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF