A Big Day for Tech as Alphabet, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft Release Earnings

The technology sector remains the best-performing group in the S&P 500 this year, but a spate of third-quarter earnings reports due out after the close of U.S. markets Thursday will present the high-flying sector with some important tests.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK), the largest technology ETF by assets, and the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which tracks the tech heavy Nasdaq-100 Index, are among the exchange traded funds investors will want to monitor in the days ahead.

XLK tries to reflect the performance of the Technology Select Sector Index, which is comprised of technology and telecom sector of the S&P 500. The ETF includes companies from technology hardware, storage, and peripherals; software; diversified telecommunication services; communications equipment; semiconductors and semiconductor equipment; internet software and services; IT services; electronic equipment, instruments and components; and wireless telecommunication services. Top holdings include Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL), Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) and Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB).

“Alphabet, Amazon, Intel and Microsoft release earnings after the bell Thursday. The four companies combined represent 25 percent of the Nasdaq 100, and have a combined market cap of nearly $2 trillion — and there are two names in particular that could be on the verge of a breakout,” according to CNBC.

While earnings multiples on tech stocks have jumped this year, investors should not expect another tech bubble on par with what was seen in 2000. In fact, the largest tech stocks today are far less pricey than their counterparts were in 2000.