More Tech ETFs That Don't Need Apple (AAPL, PXQ, XSD)
After evaluating some tech ETFs that are doing just fine with little or no exposure to Apple (Nasdaq: APPL), we got to wondering. The question: Just how deep is the bench of tech ETFs that Apple is either a small part of or isn't a part of at all that are positively surprising investors this year?
The answer, using a list published by UBS last week, is quite surprising. In fact, the UBS list of the top-performing U.S.-listed exchange-traded products shows the top-five funds have a combined allocation to Apple of just 2.96%. Moreover, that's all found in one ETF, the First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (Nasdaq: SKYY).
Check out these other surprises that are doing quite nicely sans Apple.
The UBS E-TRACS ISE Solid State Drive ETN (NYSE: SSDD) Yes, the UBS was a kind of self-serving because a UBS ETN is the leader. That's right, at the start of trading today, an ETN we'd be willing to bet you've never heard of was up almost 30% year-to-date. Tech junkies obviously know SSDD focuses on companies like Seagate (NYSE: STX) and Western Digital (NYSE: WDC), not Apple, though that clearly hasn't been a problem.
That said the combination of light volume and lack of Apple exposure gives us some pause about SSDD.
EGShares Technology GEMS ETF (NYSE: QGEM) Another thinly traded name, the EGShares Technology GEMS ETF is a collection of 30 emerging markets tech names, some of which are recognizable to U.S. investors such as Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY), Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) and Sohu.com (Nasdaq: SOHU). That leads us to point number two: GEMS is 85.2% weighted to China and India. Point number three: QGEM offers no exposure to Apple but somehow managed to surge almost 22% before today. The biggest downside of this ETF is the aforementioned volume, or lack thereof. No shares have changed hands in QGEM yet today.
SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (NYSE: XSD) Home to approximately 45 stocks, XSD is not heavy on the usual suspects such as Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), though those chip giants are included in the mix. XSD is up over 18% year-to-date and all of that has come without the help of Apple. Those returns are far superior to what one would have gotten with the PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ).
Same goes for the iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector ETF (Nasdaq: SOXX), which has also outperformed QQQ without the benefit of holding Apple.
PowerShares Dynamic Networking Portfolio (NYSE: PXQ) Another one where by the name investors will immediately no this one isn't going to be an Apple play. PXQ is not one of the big headline grabbers among tech ETFs, but the fund has been around almost seven years and has almost $94 million in AUM. F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV), Qualcom (Nasdaq: QCOM) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) are found among this ETF's top-10 holdings. That has been enough to help PXQ narrowly outpace QQQ this year.
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