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Semiconductor Funds Shorted Out This Week

In reviewing the 10 best- and 10 worst-performing technology, Internet and telecommunications sector funds this week, we can see that semiconductor and associated electronics funds shorted out.

Alternatively, telecom funds connected shareholders to gains from servicing the portable-device trend.

Excluding the inverse funds shorting the tech sector, the average fund we track lost 1.56% for the five trading days ending Thursday, July 24.

On the bullish side, more and more people worldwide want to stay connected with each other at broadband speeds. These customers pay monthly subscriptions for their phones, organizers, games, and combined gadgets.

A substantial portion of that revenue goes to the telecom and wireless equipment makers held by the Broadband HOLDRs Trust (BDH). 58.4% of the fund is invested in Qualcomm (QCOM).

With Qualcomm and Nokia (NOK) settling all their expensive, long-running lawsuits and agreeing to use each other's technology patents, they can focus on doing business. In the 15-year agreement, Qualcomm collects upfront fees and ongoing royalties from Nokia.

Another broadband holding, Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), reported Tuesday that Suo Cable Net of Japan has selected the company to deploy the latest generation of optical fiber-to-the-home technology. At speeds up to 2.5 gigabits per second, large files and full length movies become easy to handle.

On the bearish side, Texas Instruments (TXN) fell 18.02% this week. This member of the Dow Jones U.S. Semiconductor Index, on which the Ultra Semiconductor ProShares (USD) is 200% leveraged, stands to lose its spot as one of Nokia's largest chip suppliers.

Broadcom (BRCM) also shed 18.44% as it is less likely to get a piece of the Nokia chipset business. Other holdings getting hit include losses of 21.39% from MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR), -29.97% at Photronics (PLAB), and -25.39% at SanDisk (SNDK).

Best Performing Technology Funds for the Week Ending Thursday July 24
Fund Ticker Rating Fund Type 1 Week Total Return
UltraShort Semiconductors ProShares SSG B+ ETF 14.16%
Broadband HOLDRs Trust BDH E+ ETF 7.18%
ProFunds Mobile Telecommunications UltraSector ProFund WCPIX E- Open-End 5.98%
Kinetics Internet Emerging Growth Fund WWWEX E Open-End 5.52%
UltraShort Technology ProShares REW C- ETF 5.25%
Ultra Telecommunications ProShares LTL U ETF 5.09%
Wireless HOLDRs Trust WMH C+ ETF 3.28%
Matthews Asian Technology Fund MATFX C Open-End 2.39%
PowerShares Lux Nanotech Portfolio PXN E+ ETF 2.31%
FBR Pegasus Small Cap Growth Fund FBRCX Open-End 1.95%
Source: Bloomberg & Ratings

Worst Performing Technology Funds for the Week Ending Thursday July 24
Fund Ticker Rating Fund Type 1 Week Total Return
Ultra Semiconductor ProShares USD E ETF -12.55%
ProFunds Semiconductor UltraSector ProFund SMPIX E- Open-End -10.13%
iShares S&P North American Tech-Semiconductors Index Fund IGW D- ETF -8.07%
Semiconductor HOLDRs Trust SMH D ETF -7.72%
Rydex Series - Electronics Fund RYSIX E+ Open-End -6.72%
SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF XSD E ETF -5.86%
Fidelity Advisor Electronics Fund FELAX E Open-End -5.49%
Fidelity Select Electronics Portfolio FSELX E+ Open-End -5.45%
First Trust NASDAQ-100 Technology Index Fund QTEC D- ETF -5.24%
Spectra Technology Fund SPETX U Open-End -5.19%
Source: Bloomberg & Ratings

For an explanation of our ratings, click here.

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Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

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