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iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW)

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  • Mon, Aug. 24, 8:03 AM
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  • Thu, Mar. 5, 2:08 PM
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  • Thu, Mar. 5, 8:01 AM
    • "If we thought it was stupid to invest in public Internet websites that had no chance of succeeding back [in 2000], it's worse today," writes Mark Cuban. While that previous bubble was in publicly traded companies, says Cuban, today's comes from private investors bidding apps and small tech companies to the moon.
    • Thanks to Equity Crowd Funding, startup investing is now available to the little guy, and Cuban estimates there are plenty involved, and he has little doubt most, if not all, are underwater on their investments. Even worse, there's no way out.
    • An exit, says Cuban, can only come from cash paid out of operations (fat chance) or an IPO, but SEC rules have effectively wiped out smaller public offerings.
    • So why is today's bubble worse? "The only thing worse than a market with collapsing valuations is a market with no valuations and no liquidity."
    • ETFs: XLK, VGT, TECL, IYW, ROM, FTEC, TECS, RYT, QTEC, IGM, FXL, MTK, REW
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  • Fri, Jan. 2, 12:08 PM
    • "Safety used to mean gold, US treasuries, and blue chip stocks. Now it means Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook," says high-profile VC Fred Wilson while offering his 2015 predictions. Though believing rising interest rates and low oil prices will trigger "a noticeable flight to safety," he sees major tech firms continuing to have easy access to capital.
    • On the other hand, Wilson is cautious on the near-term outlook for the budding wearables market (John Legere feels differently). "Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been. Not everyone will want to wear a computer on their wrist. Eventually, this market will be realized as the personal mesh/personal cloud, but the focus on wearables will be a bit of a headfake..."
    • He also expects virtual reality to "hit some headwinds" after getting hyped in 2014 following the Facebook/Oculus (NASDAQ:FB) deal. "Oculus will struggle to ship their consumer version and competitive products will underwhelm. The virtual reality will eventually catch up to the virtual hype, but not in 2015."
    • He forecasts cybersecurity budgets "will explode in 2015 as every company, institution, and government attempts to avoid being Sony’d." But Wilson also thinks "the hacks will continue because on the open internet there is no such thing as an impenetrable system." Cybersecurity plays: FEYE, PANW, FTNT, IMPV, QLYS, PFPT.
    • Wilson, a long-time Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) believer, once more defends the cryptocurrency. "The horrible year that bitcoin had in 2014 will be a wakeup call for all stakeholders. Developers will turn their energy from creating the next bitcoin (all the alt stuff) to creating the stack on top of the bitcoin blockchain. Real decentralized applications will start to emerge..."
    • Tech ETFs: QQQ, XLK, PSQ, TQQQ, QID, VGT, SQQQ, QLD, TECL, IYW, ROM, FTEC, TECS, RYT, QQEW, QTEC, IGM, QQQE, FXL, MTK, REW, QQXT
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  • Dec. 12, 2014, 3:33 AM
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  • Dec. 7, 2014, 10:20 AM
    • Patting itself on the back for ringing a bell at the top in 2000, Barron's looks at today's market and concludes, "This time is different." First up are valuations: The DJIA (NYSEARCA:DIA) sells for 15x next year's expected earnings vs. 18x then, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) at 17x vs. 30x, and the Nasdaq at 22x vs. 2000's 102x.
    • Secondly, as a group newly public tech names are actually making money as opposed to 2000 when they were burning through billions of dollars per quarter.
    • The biggest change in Silicon Valley since 2000, however, is entrepreneurs no longer need to take their babies' public to cash out and/or raise massive amounts of capital. And it's in the private market - where venture-capital firms have been joined by mutual and hedge funds - that valuations have become bubbly, with example #1 being Uber's funding round last week valuing it at $41B. That's higher than all but 31 companies on the Nasdaq, and stands against a $17B valuation just a few months back.
    • There are 60 private companies with valuations above $1B today, according to tech-IPO godfather Bill Hambrecht. "Those 60 companies would have been public in the '90s."
    • ETFs: QQQ, XLK, PSQ, TQQQ, QID, VGT, SQQQ, QLD, TECL, IYW, ROM, FTEC, TECS, RYT, QQEW, QTEC, IGM, QQQE, FXL, MTK, REW, QQXT
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  • Nov. 11, 2014, 2:52 AM
    • The U.S. and China have reached an agreement to drop tariffs on a wide range of tech products, expanding upon their previous Information Technology Agreement at a time of strained relations.
    • Eliminating tariffs on sales of roughly $1T, the deal would liberalize trade in more than 250 categories ranging from semiconductors to medical devices.
    • The agreement has yet to be signed off by other countries involved in the talks, and will be discussed in Geneva by members of the WTO in December.
    • ETFs: XLK, VGT, KWEB, SOXL, FDN, TECL, USD, SMH, TDIV, IYZ, IYW, ROM, VOX, SOXX, CQQQ, XSD, QQQC, SOXS, PBS, TECS, FTEC, RYT, IGV, IGM, QTEC, FXL, PSI, PSCT, SSG, IGN, MTK, PXQ, REW, XTL, XSW, PSJ, PTF, FCOM, LTL, TLL
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  • Oct. 26, 2014, 9:44 AM
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  • Oct. 13, 2014, 12:53 PM
    • Though considering tech stocks "somewhat overvalued," famed VC/PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel thinks the problem pales when compared with a bond/fixed-income bubble "of massive size." (video)
    • Thiel: "Tech investors always overrate growth and always underrate durability ... 75%-80% of the value of these companies exists a decade or more in the future ... You can measure growth, but you can't measure durability."
    • Thiel also reiterates his view that Alibaba (BABA -0.1%), like other Chinese Internet names, is a political entity. "You're betting on Jack Ma staying in the good graces of the Communist Party."
    • He's a fan of the eBay/PayPal (EBAY -1%) split, but disagrees with Carl Icahn's call for PayPal to go on an acquisition spree. "I think mergers only make sense when there are real synergies .. and it's not obvious what the synergy between PayPal and any other business would be at this point."
    • GSV Capital (GSVC +1%) might be disappointed to hear Thiel state he thinks "it's going to be a while" before analytics software vendor Palantir (co-founded by Thiel) goes public. Palantir, valued at $9B in a late-2013 funding round, made up 11.2% of GSV's net asset value at the end of Q2.
    • A cautious stance is shown towards Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS). "I think it's worked on the level of a currency ... but it's not yet worked on the level of a payments system, and you need to get the payments system to work."
    • As data breaches pile up, Thiel expects cybersecurity to remain a big problem - "So much commerce is happening on the Internet and we often have no good intuition of how poor the security is." - that needs to be addressed by software. Cybersecurity plays FireEye (FEYE +3.1%) and CyberArk (CYBR +6.5%) are among the high-beta tech names rallying today.
    • Tech ETFs: XLK, VGT, TECL, IYW, ROM, TDIV, TECS, IGM, RYT, QTEC, PSCT, FTEC, FXL, REW, MTK, PTF
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  • Jul. 7, 2014, 3:56 AM
    • The U.S. has warned China that treaties and other global negotiations could be in danger if negotiations fail regarding their high-tech product international trade agreement. The agreement includes an annual $2T in trade, and eliminates tariffs and other trade barriers on IT products.
    • China has recently excluded approximately 60 new product categories, including medical devices and next-generation silicon chips, from the trade agreement. American authorities are looking to use this week’s annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue to update the 1996 Information Technology Agreement.
    • U.S. officials warn that if an agreement is not reached, increased opposition will be taken in Congress toward other trade deals with China.
    • ETFs: XLK, VGT, FDN, SOXL, KWEB, TECL, USD, SMH, PNQI, IYZ, TDIV, IYW, ROM, VOX, CQQQ, SOXX, QQQC, XSD, SOXS, PBS, TECS, FTEC, IGV, RYT, IGM, QTEC, PSCT, FXL, IGN, PSI, MTK, SSG, REW, PXQ, XSW, XTL, PSJ, PTF, FCOM, LTL, TLL
    | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 30, 2014, 6:00 PM
    • "Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short term IT spending outlook," says Gartner's Richard Gordon.
    • Gartner now expects global IT spending to rise only 2.1% in 2014 to $3.75B. That's down from a prior forecast for 3.2% growth, albeit still better than the flat growth seen in 2013. For now, Gartner expects growth to accelerate to 3.7% in 2015.
    • Device sales (inc. PCs, mobile devices, and printers) are only expected to grow 1.2% in 2014, as PC sales continue declining and ASP drops affect smartphone/tablet revenue.
    • Data center hardware sales are expected to rise 0.4%, and IT services 3.8%. The cannibalizing impact of public cloud services is expected to continue taking a toll on both markets (previous).
    • Enterprise software sales are expected to be relatively healthy, growing 6.9% to $321B. Within the market, demand for databases and other types of infrastructure software is expected to hold up better than application demand, which has been dinged by weak PC sales and cloud competition.
    • Tech ETFs: XLK, VGT, TECL, IYW, ROM, TDIV, TECS, IGM, RYT, QTEC, PSCT, FTEC, FXL, REW, MTK, PTF
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  • May 28, 2014, 7:11 PM
    • Whereas smartphone penetration in the 15 biggest developed markets was at 65% at the end of 2013, it was only 23% for the 15 biggest emerging markets, notes Mary Meeker in a mobile-centric 2014 Internet Trends Report.
    • Global smartphone penetration has reached 22%, well above 11% penetration for laptops and 10% penetration for desktops. Tablets are still only at 6%, and mobile phones in general at 73%. There were 2.61B global Web users at the end of 2013, and 1.79B smartphone subs.
    • Mobile made up 25% of Internet traffic as of May 2014, up from 15% a year ago and 10% two years ago. Asia and Africa are respectively at 37% and 38%. Mobile accounts for over 1/5 of online video time (favorable for YouTube).
    • Internet ad sales grew 16% last year to $116B. Google (GOOG) had a Q1 annualized ad ARPU of $45 (up $3 Y/Y), dwarfing Facebook's (FB) $7.24 (up $2.84), and Twitter's (TWTR) $3.55 (up $1.58). Mobile is estimated to account for 20% of media time spent, and just 4% of ad sales. For Internet, the figures are 25% and 22%.
    • Other details: 1) Tech firms account for 19% of the S&P 500's market cap - up from 11% 20 years ago, but well below a Dot.com bubble peak of 35%. 2) Web-connected TVs made up nearly 40% of 2013 shipments, up from <10% in 2010. 3) Facebook made up 21% of social media referral traffic in March (per Shareholic), and Twitter just 1%.
    • Tech ETFs: XLK, VGT, TECL, IYW, ROM, TDIV, TECS, IGM, RYT, QTEC, PSCT, FTEC, FXL, REW, MTK, PTF
    • Web/social media ETFs: PNQI, SOCL, FDN
       
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  • Apr. 15, 2014, 1:49 PM
    • While broader equity markets are only seeing modest declines, tech stocks aren't so lucky. The Nasdaq-100 (QQQ -0.8%) had its lowest print since October this morning before recovering slightly.
    • Chinese tech stocks (KWEB -4.3%), including 2013 solar high-flyers (TAN -4.2%), are especially hard-hit following a Shanghai selloff triggered by PBOC withdrawals. Other Internet (PNQI -2.3%) and social media (SOCL -2%) stocks aren't faring much better.
    • Will earnings season come to the rescue? Intel and Yahoo report after the bell today, and Google and IBM after the bell tomorrow.
    • Tech ETFs: XLK, VGT, FDN, ROBO, SOXL, SKYY, TECL, USD, SMH, IPK, IYW, ROM, TDIV, SOXS, SOXX, KWT, TECS, XSD, IXN, IGV, FTEC, RYT, IGM, PXN, QTEC, PSCT, FXL, IGN, PSI, SSG, MTK, REW, PXQ, XSW, FONE, PSJ, AAIT, PTF, CQQQ, QQQC
    • Update: Tech stocks rallied in the final hours of trading. The Nasdaq closed up 0.3%.
    | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 25, 2014, 10:36 AM
    • Only 5 of the 10 largest tech companies by market cap were on 2000's top-10 list, notes VC Matt McIlwain in a column highlighting the risks posed to tech investors betting heavily on IT giants.
    • McIlwain also observes 7 "big tech" names - IBM, H-P, EMC, Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, and Intel - have collectively seen nearly flat sales/profit growth over the last two years. Recent industry sales figures - PCs, servers, storage - help explain why.
    • He argues recent trends - the mobile transition, the rise of subscription-based cloud apps, the migration of workloads to cloud infrastructures - makes him "a doubter in aggregate future value creation for current Big Tech companies."
    • The business model changes caused by the cloud shift, and a general pickup in the pace of change, especially worry him. Sales policies need to be overhauled to deal with subscription pricing; traditional "account control" is undermined as decisions shift from CIOs to individual departments; and companies with tens of thousands of employees have a harder time quickly reacting to change than smaller firms.
    • Tech ETFs, many of which have a strong "big tech" component to them: QQQ, XLK, QTEC, IGM, IYW, PTF, MTK, XLK, VGT, RYT, FXL, PSCT, TECL, ROM, TECS, REW, TDIV
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  • Oct. 24, 2013, 5:55 PM
    | 3 Comments
  • Oct. 19, 2013, 3:40 PM
    • "I do worry a little bit that we're beginning to hear things that are reminiscent of the 1999-2000 period—the number of hits, the number of eyeballs," says UBS' Art Cashin, suggesting a new tech bubble is afoot.
    • Cashin doesn't claim all tech names are taking part - many large-caps still go for less than 15x trailing EPS and 3x sales - just some of those with strong cloud and/or mobile exposure. "We're beginning to see a case of old tech/new tech."
    • Though using P/Es to value growth-stage tech firms can be tricky, given how near-term earnings are often depressed by big investments, a look at price/sales multiples makes it clear valuations for many high-growth names have soared.
    • Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), Zillow (Z) and YELP now respectively trade at 13.4x, 13.1x, 10.9x, and 14.8x 2014E sales. The story is similar for some enterprise-focused names: Workday (WDAY) and Splunk (SPLK) go for 20.7x and 17.3x FY15E (ends Jan. '15) sales, and ServiceNow (NOW), Tableau (DATA), and FireEye (FEYE) go for 11.9x, 14.4x, and 21.4x 2014E sales.
    • Price/billings ratios for enterprise firms that depend heavily on cloud subscriptions are a bit lower than price/sales ratios, but are still often in the double-digit range.
    • Tech ETFs: QQQ, XLK, QTEC, IGM, IYW, PTF, MTK, XLK, VGT, RYT, FXL, PSCT, TECL, ROM, TECS, REW, TDIV.
    | 142 Comments
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IYW Description
The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Sector Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the largest public companies in the technology sector of the U.S. market, as represented by the Dow Jones U.S. Technology Index.
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Sector: Technology
Country: United States
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