This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Five Big Tech Trends to Watch in 2004

It's especially critical that technology stocks start to show some life again in 2004. The retail sector is probably headed for its usual postholiday shopping season slump. The financials are going to be facing stiff headwinds all year from a slowdown in the refinancing boom and the fears of higher interest rates in the second half of the year. That pretty much leaves it up to technology stocks to provide the leadership that any sustainable rally needs.

Which brings me to the need for next big things in technology. You see, the rally that drove the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite index from its March 11 closing low of 1271.47 to its closing high of 1989.82 on Dec. 1 has pretty much priced business as usual into the technology sector.

With year-to-date returns of 68% for Applied Materials (AMAT), 82% for Cisco Systems (CSCO), 97% for Intel (INTC) and 91% for Texas Instruments (TXN), stock prices have anticipated much of the cyclical recovery off the bottom and a return to revenue growth as usual.

For technology stocks to start moving up again, for them to reassert their role as market leaders and for them to put the juice back in this rally, they will have to deliver the unexpected: the next big thing.

Here are my five candidates for the tech sector's next big things of 2004.

Personal Manipulation of Digital Content (PMDC)

Today, digital content is mostly preformatted for consumers by content providers. Consumers are able to access the content by using a variety of products -- digital cameras, Apple Computer's (AAPL) iPod and TiVo (TIVO), for instance. Increasingly, consumers want to exercise more control over that content, and that's where PMDCs come in. PMDC is divided among hundreds of content and device makers, and none of these individually qualifies as a next big thing.

But PMDC requires storage, tons and tons of storage, in new, inexpensive, smaller, easy-to-use devices. PMDC has already transformed the disk-drive industry from a commodity producer of storage for PC makers into cutting-edge technology companies that realize they've got immense new markets open to them if they can make their drives small and cheap enough to fit in a cable TV set-top box, for example.

2 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs