If April has seen the revival of investor exuberance -- rational or otherwise -- which sectors have been the beneficiaries?
Despite four interest-rate cuts since the beginning of the year, the
is still hovering near bear market territory -- down more than 18%. Still, that's a far cry from how far down it was on April 4, when the index was down almost 34%. Since then, though, the Nasdaq and many of its technology components have made huge upward moves. Semiconductor-related companies, on the whole, have led the charge.
The table below shows which technology groups (using
technology industry groups) have done the best and which haven't fared so well. While only one of the groups is down since April 4, a few of them haven't kept up with the torrid pace.
, up 34%,
, up almost 40%, and
Advanced Micro Devices
, up more than 33%, have been an integral part of the Nasdaq's meteoric charge over the past three weeks.
Given prevalent hopes of a second-half turnaround in the economy, it's not surprising that semiconductor equipment and semi companies in general are faring so well now, because these companies traditionally have been the first tech stocks to recover. If a second-half turnaround doesn't materialize, however, many of these stocks will be extremely overvalued.
It's a problem that most investors don't seem too concerned about today -- especially if the last three weeks are any indication.