Tech ETFs Brace for Apple, Facebook Earnings

After a lackluster week in response to a poor showing from Alphabet (NasdaqGS: GOOGL) and Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT), technology sector exchange traded funds could experience another trying week with Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) and Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB) up to bat.

Google parent company Alphabet and Microsoft lost $30 billion each in market cap after their weak first quarter results, dragging on the broader tech sector. Over the past week, the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which tracks the tech heavy Nasdaq-100 Index, fell 1.5% and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK), which follows tech names in the S&P 500, dropped 2.0%.

Tech investors will be watching for Apple’s first quarter announcement on Tuesday, April 26 after the close. However, the outlook doesn’t look too promising. Some project the first year-over-year decline in iPhone unit sales.

Analysts have already lowered iPhone estimates in recent weeks, pointing to weakness from Apple suppliers and checks within the supply chain that indicate weak iPhone builds, reports Jennifer Booton for MarketWatch.

Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt lowered iPhone sales estimates to 212 million on “meaningfully lower” average selling prices, compared to 231 million last year.

Moreover, there are signs that consumers are upgrading phones less frequently, along with a slowdown in demand and expectations that the new iPhone 5SE and Apple Watch are not taking off.

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The current investment environment is also favoring value stocks over growth tech names.