Technology Regains Momentum: 5 ETFs Leading the Way – April 8, 2021

Technology Regains Momentum: 5 ETFs Leading the Way – April 8, 2021

After witnessing wild swings for a month, the technology sector regained momentum last week on enthusiasm over rapid economic growth. This is especially true given that the ultra-popular tech ETF — Select Sector SPDR Technology ETF (XLK Free Report) — has gained 4.2% in a week compared to the gains of 2.6% for the broad market fund SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY Free Report) .

The combination of rapid COVID-19 vaccinations, progress on vaccines, and an unprecedented stimulus has been bolstering investors’ confidence. Additionally, the latest bouts of data suggest good times ahead for the economy. A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity soared to its highest level in more than 37 years in March, driven by strong growth in new orders. Meanwhile, the United States added 916,000 jobs – the fastest pace since August last year and the unemployment rate fell to a pandemic low of 6% (read: U.S. Manufacturing Best Since 1983: ETFs to Win).

Americans are growing more confident about the economy given that the University of Michigan’s final sentiment index climbed to a pandemic high of 84.9 in late March from a preliminary reading of 83. The Conference Board on consumer confidence index also jumped to 109.7 in March — the highest level since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Additionally, the International Monetary Fund upgraded its global growth forecast from 5.5% to 6% for this year, largely reflecting the quick recovery in the U.S. economy.

Further, the surge in Treasury yields has moderated, rekindling investors’ interest in the tech sector. In the latest minutes, the Fed reaffirmed its accommodative stance maintaining rates near zero through at least through 2023.

Moreover, the sector outlook remains solid given the global digital shift even in the post-COVID world with the acceleration in e-commerce for everything, ranging from remote working to entertainment and shopping. The rapid adoption of cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, wearables, VR headsets, drones, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital communication and 5G technology will continue to drive the sector higher.

Given the rebounding fundamentals, we have highlighted five ETFs from the sector that are leading the rally over the past week. Investors seeking to benefit from the resurging tech sector could find them as encouraging picks:

Simplify Volt Pop Culture Disruption ETF (VPOP Free Report) – Up 7%

This is actively managed fund, providing investors concentrated exposure to media platform leaders across streaming, social and Internet of Things. The ETF has the highest exposure in two stocks — Spotify (SPOT Free Report) and Snap (SNAP Free Report) — as it invests close to 25% across the Spotify stock and Spotify call options and up to 20% in Snap and Snap call options. It has amassed $1.1 million in its asset base since inception in late December. The product has an expense ratio of 1.03% and trades in an average daily volume of 2,000 shares.

First Trust Nasdaq Semiconductor ETF (FTXL Free Report) – Up 5.3%

This fund offers exposure to the most-liquid U.S. semiconductor securities based on volatility, value and growth by tracking the Nasdaq US Smart Semiconductor Index. It holds 30 stocks in its basket with each accounting for less than 9% of assets. FTXL has accumulated $89.8 million in AUM. Average trading volume is light at around 19,000 shares and expense ratio is 0.60%. FTXL has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) (read: 4 ETFs to Invest in Shining Semiconductor Stocks).

iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW Free Report) – Up 4.9%

This ETF offers exposure to 160 U.S. electronics, computer software and hardware, and informational technology companies by tracking the Dow Jones US Technology Index. The fund has AUM of $7.1 billion and charges 43 bps in fees and expenses. Volume is good as it exchanges nearly 968,000 shares in hand a day. About 38.1% of the portfolio is allocated to software and services, while technology hardware and equipment accounts for 22.9% share. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 with a Medium risk outlook (read: Best ETF Investment Strategies for Q2 2021).

iShares Evolved U.S. Technology ETF (IETC Free Report) – Up 4.7%

This is an active ETF that employs data science techniques to provide exposure to 242 technology stocks. It is heavily concentrated on the top two firms with Microsoft (MSFT Free Report) and Apple (AAPL Free Report) at 15.6% and 11.6%, respectively, while other firms hold no more than 6.5% of assets. IETC has accumulated $98.6 million in its asset base and trades in a light volume of 19,000 shares. It charges 18 bps in annual fees.

iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF (IGM Free Report) – Up 4.6%

This ETF tracks the S&P North American Technology Sector Index, giving investors exposure to 315 hardware, software, Internet marketing, interactive media and related companies. None of the firms make up for more than 8.6% share. The fund has AUM of $3.3 billion and charges 46 bps in annual fees. It trades in a moderate volume of nearly 40,000 shares in hand a day and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook.

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