These Investors Say Nasdaq’s Bear Market Has Legs

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These Investors Say Nasdaq’s Bear Market Has Legs
Credit: © Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- The drubbing global technology stocks have seen this year may be far from over.

That’s the message from many strategists and fund managers, who expect this year’s rout to deepen in the near term as the Federal Reserve aggressively tightens monetary policy to fight inflation, raising the specter of a recession. 

Even as a potential economic contraction looms, analysts are still predicting that earnings growth for tech companies will accelerate late this year and in 2023. Investors are overweight the sector in their portfolios and expect to profit by buying when prices dip, according to Bank of America Corp.’s quantitative strategists. Until that optimism fades, tech stocks won’t find a bottom, the firm says.

Last week’s swift rebound isn’t convincing the skeptics. The Nasdaq 100 Index gained 7.2%, snapping seven weeks of losses. 

“While the rebound feels good it is not unusual to have bear market rallies,” said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank. “Investors should not forget that the underlying commodity and supply chain dynamics will continue to underpin pressures on inflation and interest rates.” 

Frothy technology shares have led the selloff in global markets on worries about higher rates curbing earnings growth. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 has lost $4.3 trillion in value from its November peak, entering a bear market. Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) have slumped 20% or more since the record. 

“People used to buy the dip, but the weakness has gotten to the point where people are wondering whether tech should be avoided altogether,” said Robert Stimpson, co-chief investment officer at Oak Associates, which manages about $2 billion. 

Read more: Goldman Says Hedge Funds’ Rush to Dump Growth Wasn’t Fast Enough

Lower valuations are encouraging some bargain hunters. The Nasdaq 100 is trading at 21 times projected profits over the next 12 months, down by about a third from its 2020 peak and below its five-year average of about 23. Alphabet sits at 17, down 40% from its high.

There’s “exceptional” long-term opportunity in tech stocks given the decline in multiples over the past six months,  said Katie Koch, chief investment officer for public markets equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV last week. 

Still, the average return potential for stocks on the Nasdaq 100 has dropped to 28% from more than 40% earlier this month, signaling a shift in sentiment as analysts slashed their 12-month price targets on individual companies.

After Meltdown, Tech-Bottom Signals Have Yet to Scream ‘Buy Now’

To assess the current environment, Garnry suggests analyzing the meltdowns in the 1970s and the dotcom bubble. 

“These drawdowns had multiple rebounds, periods of relief, before going lower again, so today’s investors must be extremely careful of not being fooled by a short-term rebound,” said.

Tech Chart of the Day

Chip stocks just had a spectacular run. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index rose 8.1% last week, snapping two weeks of declines and posting the biggest gain in more than two months. The rebound was fueled by a rally in the broader market and robust results by some companies like Marvell Technology Inc (NASDAQ: MRVL ). 

Top Tech Stories

  • US-listed Chinese stocks such as e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA )  jumped, putting them on track to wipe out their monthly losses. The easing of lockdown measures in major cities and better-than-expected economic data reassured investors
  • Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) and Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY ) plan to keep workers at their Shanghai factories isolated in so-called closed loop management systems until June 10, according to people familiar with the matter, even as authorities allow most residents to move freely around the city amid falling Covid-19 cases
  • Telecom Italia (BIT: TLIT ) is seeking an enterprise value of about 20 billion euros ($21.5 billion) for the landline network it plans to sell to Italy’s state lender and a group of international funds, according to people with knowledge of the matter
  • A lobby group including Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and other technology giants operating in India called out the country’s authorities for misunderstanding how patent fees work, following local officials’ dispute with Xiaomi (OTC: XIACF ) Corp.
  • Tiger Global Management has further reduced its holding in Just Eat Takeaway (AS: TKWY ) after a slump of more than 70% in the food-delivery service’s share price

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