Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year, leading both widely followed indexes by wide margins. So it is not surprising that technology, the largest sector weight in the S&P 500, is leading the broader market higher.
Technology exchange traded funds, particularly those with significant Apple exposure, are benefiting. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK), the largest technology exchange traded fund by assets, along with rival, traditional technology ETFs such as the Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (NYSEArca: FTEC) and the Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEArca: VGT) have posted double-digit year-to-date gains.
Technology companies have been prodigious generators of free cash, a trend that could be enhance if politics cooperate.
The tech sector could even see more free cash on hand if Congress proceeds with plans to cut down capital gains on repatriated earnings or follow in President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed repatriation tax holiday policy that would encourage large multi-national companies to bring back hundreds of billions of dollars in cash to the U.S. for possible use in dividends, deals or other projects. Trump plans to levy a 10% repatriation tax on U.S. companies’ overseas profits from foreign subsidiaries, compared to the current 35% tax rate.