Concerns Rise About A High-Flying Tech Industry

“The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, composed of 30 chip-related companies, has gained 47 percent since last April, fueled by an unprecedented flood of mergers and orders for products that make up the guts of gadgets like refrigerators to smartphones. That’s made the $300 billion industry look expensive relative to earnings as growth is expected to moderate,” according to Bloomberg.

Still, investors could be paying up for future catalysts for semiconductor and broader technology names. If there is a silver lining for the rising valuations on chip stocks it is that some industry observers believe the group’s valuations should not be measured in the traditional sense because of the evolution of the semiconductor business.

“If you look at semiconductors — which is where I have the real problem — the semiconductor index in 2016 was up 37 percent. The revenue growth was 2 percent. This year, the semiconductor index is up 18 percent, and the revenue growth is maybe 5 percent,” Niles told CNBC.

Traders looking to make bearish bets on chip ETFs can consider the ProShares UltraShort Semiconductors (NYSEArca: SSG), which takes the -2x or -200% daily performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Semiconductors Index and the Direxion Daily Semiconductors Bear 3x Shares (NYSEArca: SOXS), which provides a -3x or -300% performance of the PHLX Semiconductor Select Index.

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