With the stock market rising significantly from its low point nearly two months ago, tech stocks appear to be back in vogue after being shunned by investors during the widespread selloff earlier this year, once again leading the market higher as investors snap up shares.
Though investors piled into defensive sectors—such as utilities, consumer staples and healthcare—during the brutal market sell-off in the first half of 2022, the broader market has rebounded nearly 15% since its low point on June 16, with shares of Big Tech companies once again leading the charge.
The tech sector has jumped nearly 20% since that time, outpacing much of the rest of the market as investors buy up shares following a better-than-expected earnings season for tech companies.
Tech stocks have also rebounded thanks to market expectations that inflation has peaked—and will continue to moderate, which may lead the Federal Reserve to pare back its aggressive pace of interest-rate hikes.
A stronger than expected jobs report last Friday eased recession fears, while inflation cooled in July, rising 8.5% on an annual basis—less than the 8.7% expected by economists and down from 9.1% in June.
Among the best performers in the sector are tech giants like Apple and Amazon, both of which have surged roughly 30% in the last two months, while other big names such as Netflix and Tesla have risen 40% and 37% in that time, respectively.
The second-quarter earnings season has been a “major victory” for tech companies, with spending, cloud software, consumer demand and even digital advertising all proving to be “much better than feared given the white knuckle backdrop,” according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
“The 4th Industrial Revolution tech trends are not going away due to this slower near-term period of growth over the next 6-9 months and we firmly stay bullish on tech stocks,” Ives says. He names Microsoft and Apple as some of his favorite stocks in the sector, while also arguing that Tesla remains the “top disruptive tech name” as it continues to ramp up its production of electric vehicles.
Other big tech stocks that have risen—though not outpacing the market—since stocks hit a low point on June 16 include Facebook-parent Meta (up 10%), Google-parent Alphabet (up nearly 13%) and Microsoft (up over 17%).
What To Watch For:
Despite a sharp correction earlier this year, “tech fundamentals remain strong” with several companies “well-positioned to potentially outperform in an inflationary environment,” according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. The firm argues that the market has “underestimated the tailwinds” that a period of high inflation will provide to disruptive technology companies, especially those that either help other companies “mitigate the effects of rising costs or have pricing power due to the quality of their innovation.”
Tech stocks saw record inflows last week—with Bank of America clients buying up shares in the largest amount since 2008, when the firm first started collecting data. Despite the recent influx of investors piling back into Big Tech names, Bank of America analysts remain cautious: “While most Tech companies have beaten expectations this quarter, we see risk that Tech may not prove to be as defensive as some investors expect,” according to the firm.
Some tech stocks took a hit earlier this week after major semiconductor manufacturers like Nvidia and Micron slashed their profit outlooks, citing a challenging economic environment and ongoing supply chain issues. An important part of the tech sector, semiconductors are used in everything from mobile phones and televisions to washing machines and refrigerators. While chipmaker stocks fell this week, the rest of the tech sector has still managed to hold onto gains, though some analysts caution the rally seen in the last few weeks could be coming to an end. “After falling the most in the first half of the year, it seems Big Tech’s recent rebound might be overdone,” argues Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.