Here at www.theFREDreport.com, we look at Sector ETFs and their components. We have recommended overweighting the iShares Dow US Tech ETF (IYW) for a while, and still like technology, but we may be seeing a shift in the way the markets are viewing technology stocks. There is a shift going on within the sector, from some of the more popular companies to less likely candidates. First, look at the chart of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) vs. the IYW, and note that of late the IYW has been lagging.

Next look at three popular companies: AAPL, GOOG and MSFT. AAPL is the biggest company in the sector, and while it certainly has great products, the stock has started to consolidate and trade down a little bit. We feel that this is occurring because the market believes AAPL will consolidate its gains and growth will slow. GOOG is another example of this. We all use Google's products, but the stock has been trading down for a while and is weaker than the IYW.  We feel the market is treating this the same as AAPL for the same reasons.

 

 

Positive stocks include one old favorite, IBM, which is trading up and outperforming AAPL and GOOG.

Two more outperformers are AKAM and NFLX, both of which are less known. AKAM and NFLX are still growth stories and are much less known.

 

One last interesting chart is HPQ, which is down, but on news of acquisitions and the shenanigans of the former CEO. Yes, the chart looks rather hairy, but these are likely temporary issues (the CEO is already being replaced) and may represent a buying opportunity for patient investors.

The moral of the stories are these: First, stocks are leading indicators of a company's health -- great products may already be discounted. Second, when analyzing an ETF, look at the component companies as there may be some new faces on the block that are better than older, popular names.

Fred Meissner is founder and publisher of The Fred Report. Fred is a CMT and past President of the Market Technicians Association (MTA). He recently left Merrill Lynch's Market Analysis Department and Sector Strategy Department to form The Fred Report. A detailed bio is here: Fred Meissner.