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Chip stocks are having their worst quarter in three years, and it could get worse, Oppenheimer says

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Semi stocks lead the tech selloff, here’s why the hot trade is cooling off

Holy chips!

The SMH semiconductor ETF tumbled nearly 4 percent on Monday in its worst daily performance since April. The ETF, which houses 25 of the largest U.S.-traded chips stocks, is on track for its first negative quarter since the third quarter of 2015, and according to one technical analyst, it's about to get worst.

“Tech is fine. However, semis is the part of the sector that you want to stay away from,” Ari Wald, Oppenheimer's head of technical analysi, told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Monday. “We do see vulnerability there. I think there’s some downside risk.”

The SMH ETF has been in sharp decline against the XLK technology ETF since mid-June. The XLK is 1 percent lower in June, while the SMH is down 4 percent.

“It’s losing its leadership. Versus the tech sector this industry has been making lower highs since March. It’s really starting to break down more recently. This is a warning,” said Wald.

When the semiconductor space sells off on one day, it “doesn’t usually bounce back the next, so I think there is some more downside,” Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures, said on Monday’s “Trading Nation.”

The SMH could find some near-term support relief in a few key levels, though, Baruch adds.

“There is support here right around $102, $103 with the 200-day moving average and just below it, but I’m looking at the round number of $100,” said Baruch. “Ultimately the law of round numbers should help clot the bleeding a little bit here.”

The SMH ETF touched its 200-day moving average, but did close below that trend line. It has not touched $100 since May 4 – it remains a 3 percent sell-off from that level.