The Nasdaq Composite index closed above the 8,000 mark for the first time on Aug 27. U.S.-Mexico breakthrough trade talks and solid gains by some big tech names made this possible. Also, sturdy U.S. economic growth, a healing labor market and a rising rate environment drove this growth index. Most importantly, the Atlanta Fed raised its estimate for the Q3 U.S. GDP to about 4.6% from 4.3%.
Monday’s gains were mainly boosted by FAANGs — Facebook’s (FB - Free Report) 1.6% rise, Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) 0.8%, Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) 1.2%, Netflix’s (NFLX - Free Report) 1.61% and Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) 1.6%. FAANGs have been sizzling for quite some time. In fact, Apple has finally become the first U.S. trillion-dollar company this month.
The stock market got extra lift on Aug 27 from subsiding trade tensions between the United States and Mexico as the duo agreed upon a new bilateral trade deal (read: Spread of ETFs to Taste Apple's Trillion Dollar Market Cap).
Investors should thus note that while several corners of the market are beaming with opportunities, a specific benchmark, the Nasdaq, is expected to be on fire as we progress further into 2018. The index is already up 14.4% this year compared with 7.5% returned by the S&P 500 and 4.9% by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
This is especially true as the index is heavy on the technology sector, which is cash rich and is a key beneficiary of the tax reform. Investors should note that the Fed has enacted two rate hikes so far this year and is widely expected to tighten the policy again in September despite President Donald Trump’s disapproval for higher interest rates. An improving economy and a moderately rising interest rate environment are great for cyclical sectors like Information Technology and Consumer Discretionary (read: September Rate Hike Odds High: Bet on These ETFs).
While many are nervy about stretched valuation and a ‘2000-style crash’ of Nasdaq, most experts are of the opinion that these fears are unwarranted. Bespoke Investment Group noted that in 1999-2000, the surge was all about tech but the latest run consists of “tech and a lot of other companies.” It speaks more of fundamental strength. For investors interested in riding out this uptrend in Nasdaq, we suggest a few ETFs.
Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ - Free Report)
This is the largest and the most popular product in the large-cap growth space, holding 103 stocks in its basket. Apple dominates the fund with about 13% allocation, followed by Amazon with 10.7% and Microsoft with 9.64%. Apart from these two stocks, all the other individual securities have less than 4.94% exposure each in the fund. In terms of sector exposure, the fund is heavily concentrated on Information Technology, with about 60% of assets invested. However, Consumer Discretionary gets double-digit exposure in the ETF. The fund charges 20 bps in fees (see all Large Cap ETFs here).
Direxion Nasdaq-100 Equal Weighted Index Shares (QQQE - Free Report)
The fund looks to track the NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index. Information Technology takes about 60.9% of the fund followed by 23.04% invested in Consumer Discretionary and 9.26% going to Health Care.
ProShares Ultra QQQ (QLD - Free Report)
This riskier option is for leveraged ETF investors. The fund reflects twice the daily performance of the NASDAQ-100 Index and charges 95 bps in fees (read: Bet on the Top Leveraged ETFs of the Longest-Ever Bull Market).
First Trust Nasdaq 100 Technology (QTEC - Free Report)
The fund looks to track the NASDAQ-100 Technology Sector Index. It holds 37 stocks in total. None of the stocks accounts for more than 3.29% of the fund. The fund charges 58 bps in fees (read: 4 Sector ETFs That Crushed S&P 500 in Longest Bull Market).
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