As Major Tech ETFs Dip, Investors Get Jitters

Several major tech ETFs have dipped over the past month, elevating investors’ jitters toward these once hot funds. That includes the The PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which tracks the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 Index, and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK), the largest tech ETF by assets.

Stocks such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Google parent Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) are pivotal to QQQ’s performance. That quartet combines for a massive percentage of QQQ and XLK.

“In Q1 2018, we saw the first quarterly outflows from this asset class since 2016, though the net outflow of $151m is not significant compared with the $88bn in Q4 inflows,” according to IHS Markit. “So far in Q2, the outflow trend has continued, but with the quarter being one week old that could easily reverse if the market is able to find its footing.”

Related: Tech ETFs Down But Not Out

With technology’s ascent and that of QQQ, come concerns that the Nasdaq-100 is too heavily exposed to a small number of stocks. Additionally, some analysts opine that the benchmark’s significant technology overweight leaves it vulnerable should tech stocks fall out of favor.

Slight Outflows in Technology ETFs

Broadly speaking, US-listed technology ETFs have not lost money on a quarterly basis since the second quarter of 2016 and four of the previous six quarters have seen massive amounts of capital flow into tech ETFs. To start the current quarter, outflows, though modest, are what tech ETFs are contending with.