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Tech bounces back — Here's what analysts say investors should watch

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Tech bounced back and pushed the Nasdaq to its best day since Nov. 2020 — Here's what experts say investors should watch

Tech stocks led a market rally on Tuesday as bond yields declined.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rallied more than 4% in its best day since early November.

Here's what market experts said about the move.

Mike Wilson, chief investment officer at Morgan Stanley, said recent weakness afflicted highly valued stocks, not just tech.

"It's not tech per se. It's expensive stocks, and some of those happen to be in the tech bucket. There's also expensive stocks in biotech, and there's expensive stocks even in nontech groups. And what's really changed in the last two or three months is that the bond market has woken up to the idea that actually the back end is going to move out, and so the narrative three months ago was that 'rates can't go up, they won't go up, the Fed won't let it happen.' But here we are, 1.5%, 1.6% [for the 10-year]. And so now the equity market is accepting this idea that it was inevitable. And we're adjusting. So I don't think this is the end of the bull market or the end of tech stocks per se, but it was an adjustment that was very necessary."

David Kostin, chief U.S. equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, said tech is still a longer-term bet.

"The issue really is what's happening on the margin. We have huge fiscal stimulus coming, likely to be signed in the next day or so. We're likely to have very significant improvement in the vaccination process, more than 2 million people a day. So those things are about nearer-term activity, and that really does benefit an improvement of business fundamentals for some of the near-term, more cyclical-related stocks in the recovery trade, if you will. So if you want to think about longer term, sure, technology, secular growth, those are definitely tapping into some of the evolutions in what's happening in the economy, but near term, tactically it's likely to be cyclical."

Jim Grant, founder and editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, broke down the bond market.

"We have been in a 40-year bull market in bonds. Almost no one living on Wall Street today has any recollection of interest rates rising. We are predisposed to assume that rates go down, that seems natural. ... They are remarkably low when adjusted for inflation. As measured since 1962, as a saver, you'd get over 2.5 almost percentage points of real inflation-adjusted yield by owning the 10-year Treasury. Today you get exactly no real interest. ... So the value proposition for the 10-year Treasury, to me, is absolutely barren. There's nothing to be said as an investment for them."

Gabriela Santos, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said it all comes back to earnings.

"I think one of the points we make is we're coming into this year with a much better outlook but with stretched valuations. So returns this year are really going to come from the change in earnings, and it's really the cyclical parts of the market that will see the biggest delta in earnings this year versus last year. Those are the kind of sectors that can absorb rising yields, that can really tap into this improvement in the economy. So just an example, financials will see a 40 percentage-point change in earnings, consumer discretionary 70 percentage points. If we look at health care, only 2 percentage points. Tech only 10%. So that's the reason why these rising bond yields related to rising growth benefits these more cyclical parts of the market."

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