Investors Should Bargain Hunt In Technology

by: Todd Campbell

The summer swoon takes its toll on investors. But, history suggests investors using summer's sell-off to buy technology stocks are rewarded come the end of October.

Using data from The Seasonal Investor, I crunched the numbers to see how widely traded ETFs perform in the three months starting August and ending October.

Historically, buying technology - a historically challenged summertime basket - has been the right move.

The following table breaks out the strongest ETFs for the next three months, based on the percentage of years they've traded higher.

You'll notice the list is split between technology oriented ETFs and bond ETFs, including the 20 Year (NYSEARCA:TLT), corporates (NYSEARCA:LQD) and Tips (NYSEARCA:TIP).

The S&P Software ETF (NYSEARCA:IGV) offers the best overall seasonality, finishing October higher than it begins August in 9 of the past 10 years, producing an average 6.52% gain.

The Technology SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLK) and NASDAQ 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) are both up in 8 of the past 10 years, for gains of 3.39% and 3.88%, respectively.

However, bear in mind returns are not evenly distributed.

Instead, they're back-end loaded. For example, while the IGV has been up strongly at the end of the period, it's only finished August higher 5 times in the past 10 years. This is hardly a robust endorsement for going all in during the first week in August. Instead, it suggests investors are best served patiently accumulating their favorite plays over the next 6 weeks.

For those curious, here are the top holdings for the IGV:

Top Holdings: IGV
Company Symbol % of Assets
Oracle ORCL 8.94%
Microsoft MSFT 8.56% CRM 7.35%
Intuit INTU 6.71%
Adobe ADBE 6.19%

Disclosure: I am long TIP.