Despite remarkably strong earnings and outlooks from the likes of IBM (NYSE:IBM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Barron's Plugged In column says this is the best things will get for the tech sector.
Cowen technology strategist Arnie Berman, normally an optimist, thinks tech sector CEOs -- and money managers -- are just a tad too giddy. "The good news this report season," he says, "is that wheels have not fallen off the cart. The bad news is that the wheels remain wobbly and are likely to remain so in the months ahead." He notes that while tech stocks led the way in the previous downturn, this time they're more likely to be a lagging indicator as hard-hit financial firms slash their orders for tech goods.
Once tech companies start coming clean and admit soft sales and temperamental buyers, he says, "we'll all start realizing that this is the beginning of a weak tech-stock market -- not the end."
In a different article in this week's magazine, Barron's quotes Avnet (NYSE:AVT) CEO Roy Vallee, who notes weak server demand in both Europe and the U.S. as companies cut back on IT budgets. Avnet's key hardware partners are IBM, Sun (JAVA) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ).