Tech Takes Vengeance On Energy After Awful 2022, While Fed Rate Peaks And Oil Losses Shape Stock Performance

Zinger Key Points
  • Tech climbs 27% over energy sector so far in 2023, after dropping as much as 55% in 2022 alone.
  • Only four tech companies are part of the nearly 80% of Nasdaq 100 gains so far this year.

Technology stocks have taken huge revenge on energy in recent months, with the performance difference between the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund XLK and the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund XLE climbing to 27% year-to-date and 42%, respectively, from November 2022 lows.

The two primary factors driving this trend have been increased expectations on a Federal Reserve policy rate peaking, as dropping Treasury rates brought much-needed relief to tech assets and significant losses in oil prices caused by recessionary worries which have intensified since the U.S. banking crisis. 

After rising over 350% in the two years before August 2020, and more than 1,300% from 2008 to the summer of 2020, the tech-energy relative stock performance ended 2022 with a nightmarish loss of about 55%. 

Essentially, the year 2022 alone has wiped out more than half of the gains experienced by tech equities over energy between the Lehman Brothers crisis in 2008 and COVID-19 in 2020.

Chart: Technology vs. Energy Equities (XLK/XLE)

How Did Tech Outperform Energy Year To Date? In 2023, about 80% of the excellent performance of the technology sector Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 QQQ, up 22% year-to-date, was attributable to only four companies. 

  • Apple Inc AAPL was QQQ's biggest performance contributor in 2023, adding alone 7.4 percentage points to the overall performance. 
  • Microsoft Corp. MSFT added 6.7 percentage points to the overall performance.
  • NVIDIA Corporation NVDA contributed 2.8 percentage points. 
  • Salesforce Inc CRM contributed for 1 percentage points. 
  • Exxon Mobil Corp XOM and Coterra Energy Inc CTRA are the only two firms in the energy field that have contributed positively to the total performance of the sector. The rest of the companies in the energy industry have seen negative returns so far this year.
  • Chevron Corp. CVX was the worst performer in the sector, alone dragging down the XLE by two percentage points; ConocoPhillips COP and Halliburton Company HAL were also notable laggards, dragging 0.6 percentage points each. 

Read Next: What's Going On With Apple Stock?

Photo: Shutterstock


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