By: Louis Navellier of InvestorPlace

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- The fact that Apple ( AAPL) sold 1.7 million iPhones at the same time that the Dow broke under 10,000, signals to me that technology is the best way to hedge against this downward market trend.

Experts say we're only on the cusp of what will be a period of exponential technological advancement. This means that that the amazing breakthroughs scientists and engineers have made in the past several decades will look like child's play when compared with the feats others will achieve in years to come.

To the average consumer, this means that technology will become even more integrated into our daily lives. To an investor, this means that there are great opportunities in tech stocks. Let's take a look now at three areas most likely to have tech breakthroughs -- and some stocks that could see profit windfalls in the year ahead.

Keep in mind with each of these examples how corporate behemoth Apple grew from a garage-sized start up to the biggest tech stock in the world. AAPL stock got its start with Apple's first computer, the Apple-1, built by hand by company co-founder, Steve Wozniak. A couple of decades, tens of thousands of employees and billions of dollars later, Apple is one of the most successful tech companies in existence. Many of the technologies we use today started off as nothing more than science projects in labs at small companies -- but evolved into true giants of technology.

Here are just a few of the sectors I'm looking at for next-generation technology and superior profits. One of these companies could very well wind up to be the next Apple.

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