Semiconductor sector-related exchange traded funds broke below their long-term trends and led the declines in the technology segment as chipmaker Nvidia (NasdaqGS: NVDA) and chip equipment maker Applied Materials (NasdaqGS: AMAT) retreated on guidance.
On Friday, the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEArca: SMH) fell 1.2% and the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NasdaqGM: SOXX) dipped 1.3%, both breaking below their long-term support at the 200-day simple moving average.
Bearish traders, though, capitalized on the misery with 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. On Friday, SSG jumped 3.3% and SOXS increased 3.5%.
The semiconductor sector weakened Friday on lackluster forward outlook. Applied Materials, the world’s largest supplier of integrated circuits and chips, projected current-quarter profit and revenue below Wall Street estimates, fueling concerns that the two-year chip boom may be losing momentum, CNBC reports.
Slowing Smartphone Growth
Observers are concerned that slowing smartphone growth and newer technologies could cause chipmakers to reduce capital spending and lower demand for chip-making equipment.
“As foundry customers optimize existing capacity, they have trimmed their capital spending plans for the year,” Applied Materials Chief Executive Officer Gary Dickerson told analysts on a post-earnings call.