abandons its direct-sales revolution in favor of selling PCs at
, you know the technology sector is having a rough week.
Although technology funds have had a good year so far, the average tech fund we track fell 0.35% for the five trading days ending Thursday, May 24. The roughest patch this week is seen among semiconductor stocks and the funds investing in them.
conference call earlier this week, CEO Jerald Fishman disclosed the slowing of chip production in an effort to reduce inventory. On top of this news, the company talked down chances of it meeting third-quarter sales and profit estimates.
Analog Devices' stock sank 11.97% for the period.
Marvell Technology Group
, a competing chipmaker, likewise fell 8.82%. Plus, a major supplier of the wafers used to make silicon chips,
MEMC Electronic Materials
, slid 5.05%.
These were the three largest decliners in the Dow Jones U.S. Semiconductor Index from Thursday, May 17, to Thursday, May 24. The two funds tied to this index led the worst-performers list.
Ultra Semiconductor ProShares
, which tracks 200% of the daily performance of the index, dropped 5.48%. Meanwhile, the ProFunds
Semiconductor UltraSector ProFund (SMPIX), leveraged to 150% of the index, gave back 3.72%.
With semiconductors down, the
UltraShort Semiconductors ProShares
sailed to a total return of 6.15%. The
UltraShort Technology ProShares
, which is also a 200% reverse-leveraged index ETF, gained 3.61% to take advantage of the decline in the Dow Jones U.S. Technology Index.
But not all tech stocks were down this week. The
RS Information Age Fund (RSIFX), rose 3.61%. It is 26.4% invested in Internet stocks, 21.9% in semiconductors, 19.4% in software, 12.4% in computers, 11.6% in telecommunications and 3.0% in toys.
The fund's three biggest holdings are
With Internet advertising reaching $16.9 billion in 2006, or 35% above the previous year, companies that profit from every click-through are positioned for growth. One such company, Valueclick, had a phenomenal week, jumping 15.28%. But that was virtually nothing in comparison with the 78.20% skyrocketing of
had already snatched up aQuantive's competitor, DoubleClick, for $3.1 billion. So
, in a desperate move to play catch-up, agreed to pay nearly $6 billion to buy aQuantive. When the deal was announced, the $66.50-per-share cash offer represented a 104.6% premium above the share price of aQuantive stock.
The aQuantive buyout also benefited the
Oak Assoicates Black Oak Emerging Technology Fund (BOGSX) and the
T. Rowe Price Developing Technologies Fund (PRDTX).
Another winning position held by the Information Age Fund and the T. Rowe Price Developing Technologies Fund is
. It is up 24.25% on news of a partnership with
Fox Latin American Channels division to develop original content for Marchex's 100-plus Spanish-language Web sites.
was the biggest gainer for the
PowerShares Lux Nanotech Portfolio
. This high-tech pharmaceutical company described its new Alzheimer's program as having "fantastic potential" and announced plans to test its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri for various cancers. The statements sent their stock off to the races.
unveiled a full-color video screen that is a mere 0.3 millimeters thick and flexible. So I just can't help being bullish about the long-term prospects of technology. I love my 57-inch HDTV, but among the many potential products possible, the Sony spokesperson mentioned that the film may eventually be "put up as wallpaper." It is almost time for a technological home makeover.
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, 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.