The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- STMicroelectronics (STM), rose 7.13 % Monday, with (STM.PA) up 6.44%, and (STM.MI) up 5.67%, NXP Semiconductor (NXPI) rose 5.88%, ARM Holdings (ARM.L) lifted 6.58%, Kopin (KOPN) gained 5.80%, Entropic Communications (ENTR) rose 5.56%, Infineon Technologies (ifx.de) gained 5.35%, Inphi Common Stock (IPHI) rose 5.01% and Silicon Image (SIMG) was up 4.72%.
Forecasts for semiconductor growth for 2011 have been confusing and erratic all year, but the consensus is that growth projections have slowed over the past few months. For example, Gartner forecast worldwide semiconductor growth at 5.1% in June, down from its first-quarter projection of 6.2% growth for 2011. Gartner lowered its forecast to -0.2% in September.
In June, IMS iSuppli forecast a 7.1% growth, up from 7.0% in the first quarter. Growth was lowered to 4.6% in August and 2.9% in September.Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. The Nasdaq Composite is heavily weighted in technology and Internet stocks, and I was curious about the correlation between Nasdaq and semiconductor growth and forecasts. A search on the Internet suggests that Nasdaq is a leading indicator. But is it when compared to historic growth of semiconductor revenues? In the chart below I plotted the Nasdaq Composite against semiconductor sales over the past 16 years, since 1995, when the market research company I started, The Information Network, celebrated its 10th Anniversary. The chart below shows that it is clearly a "concurrent indicator" instead of a "leading indicator." In recent times the Nasdaq can be argued to be a "lagging indicator." If we compare the forecasts by Gartner and IMS iSuppli -- forgetting that they tend to give forecasts in tenths of percents to make numbers look credible only to come out a short time later with changes in the units of percents -- if the Nasdaq was a "leading indicator", then the forecasts seem plausible. But if Nasdaq was a "concurrent" or "lagging" indicator, then the semiconductor companies should enjoy a less-than-dreary year. Keep in mind that semiconductor billings according to the Semiconductor Industry Association are up 4.4% through August 2011 compared to the same period last year.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
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.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
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.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV