Widely followed technology exchange traded funds (ETFs) such as the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK) and broad market ETFs like the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which tracks the tech heavy Nasdaq-100 Index, have faced a variety of headwinds this year, but there are signs the group is perking up.
Earlier this year, Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) ended a 13-year earnings winning streak and reported its first ever decline in iPhone sales. That report came just days after Google parent Alphabet (NasdaqGS: GOOG) and Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) lost a combined $30 billion in market value in a single day following disappointing earnings reports of their own.
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Regarding Apple, investors have grown increasingly concerned over the company’s iPhone sales growth, especially with China experiencing an economic slowdown. ETF investors will also have to keep a close eye on AAPL as the company makes up double-digit weights in most broad tech-sector ETFs, including the Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEArca: VGT) and the iShares U.S. Technology ETF (NYSEArca: IYW).
However, the news is not all bad for the tech sector, the S&P 500’s largest sector weight.
“Crossing Wall Street editor Eddy Elfenbein pointed out that the majority of tech stocks actually reported decent first-quarter results, but these were overshadowed by the struggling big names,” according to CNBC.
The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEArca: SMH) and the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NasdaqGM: SOXX) are each up more than 8% over the past month as semiconductor stocks are rebounding to steady the broader technology sector, but that does not mean the gains are over for this suddenly hot group.
Last month, semiconductor stocks and ETFs surged after Applied Materials, the world’s largest supplier of tools used to make semiconductor chips, said it earned $0.34 per share on revenue of $2.45 billion, beating The Street by $0.02 per share and expectations of $2.43 billion in revenue, the Wall Street Pit reports.
Oppenheimer technical strategist Ari Wald “shows that the XLK still holds a bullish trend against the S&P 500. The XLK’s performance over the S&P 500 leads Wald to believe that tech could be ‘not only a leader over the coming year, but over the coming years.’” reports CNBC.
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Technology Select Sector SPDR
Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of QQQ.