Alphabet, Microsoft Miss Reveals Pitfalls of Market-Cap ETFs

Technology-related exchange traded funds that follow the traditional market capitalization-weighted methodology are under pressure as two tech giants fell sharply on lackluster first quarter earnings.

Google parent company Alphabet Inc. (NasdaqGS: GOOGL) revealed adjusted earnings per share last quarter total $7.50, missing analysts’ target of $7.96, with $16.47 billion in revenue also under estimates, reports Ben Eisen for the Wall Street Journal. GOOGL shares declined 5.4% Friday, dipping below its short-term 50-day simple moving average.

Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) also said it earned an adjusted 62 cents per share, compared to analysts’ forecasts of 64 cents, with company revenues of $20.5 billion, below expectations of $22.1 billion. MSFT shares decreased 6.8%, also falling below its 50-day line.

Meanwhile, the popular Powershares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which tracks a cap-weighted Nasdaq-100 index, fell 1.5% Friday. As a cap-weighted index-based ETF, QQQ is top heavy, with a 8.4% tilt toward MSFT, 5.0% in GOOG and 4.4% in GOOGL.

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Market observers have argued that a market cap-weighted indexing methodology exposes fund investors to company stocks that have been outperforming or have become pricier relative to the rest of the market.