Tech stocks have been in a three-year funk, having come out of the late 1990s dot-com bubble with little more than a thready heart beat. With a slew of important product updates this year, including the Microsoft Vista operating system, I figured that this was the time to commit to the sector.
I was only partially right. Technology stocks certainly showed well in the recent earnings season, with companies including Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Intel posting impressive growth. But even though April resulted in big gains for stocks, the rising tide lifted all boats, as the NASDAQ posted a gain similar to that of the S&P 500 index.
The problem with high-beta indexes is their downside, of course. If tech stocks can merely keep up with their less volatile brethren during good times, they are likely to show more downside when stocks get hit. Should the equity markets exhibit a summer slowdown, a seasonal phenomenon that tends to start in May, the technology sector could fall even further behind the overall market.