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Tech Stocks vs ETFs: Earnings Season Strategies

This post is part of a series written by ETF Trends editor Tom Lydon, special for CNBC.com.

One of the few shining stars in the recession has been the exchange traded funds (ETFs) of the technology sector.

The Nasdaq 100 index is up 26 percent year-to-date, and was the first major index to turn positive this year.

But we’re now in the thick of the real test for technology: earnings season. This is going to tell us whether the gains have been justified. Are discerning consumers and users enough to propel the sector?

Google was first out of the gate last Thursday, reporting slightly better-than-expected revenue of $5.52 billion in the second quarter.

This week, more big names will tell us how they did:

Apple—Tuesday, July 21

-For 12 quarters, Apple has beaten the estimates

-Sales for the new 3G iPhone, MacBook Pro and a popular Apps store could help boost the bottom line

Yahoo—Tuesday, July 21

-Yahoo has a new CEO in place, who’s working to make it leaner and meaner

-Yahoo’s shares are up 24 percent year-to-date

Microsoft—Thursday, July 23

-Launched a new search engine, Bing, which didn’t do much in its first month. Bing now has an 8.4 percent share of the U.S. search market (Google has a 65 percent share, Yahoo 19 percent).

-Faces a huge challenge once Google’s new operating system, Chrome, launches

(Watch the video for more insights from Tom Lydon)

Instead of trying to figure out which tech giant is going to trounce the others — or lose to them — why not get access to the whole sector with a transparent and diversified ETF? Many of the largest technology ETFs hold these companies in significant amounts.

Top Tech ETFs:

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Technology

Technology Select Sector SPDR

PowerShares QQQ

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Tom Lydon is the editor of ETF Trends and author of iMoney: Profitable ETF Strategies for Every Investor.

Disclaimer