Tech Bears See Hyped-Up Demand

Man vs. Machine
Photo: Don Klumpp | Getty Images
Man vs. Machine

The bursting of the Internet bubble in 2000 showed that in sectors like technology, the hype often overshadows a grimmer reality.

Facebookcould change tech investing like it did social networking when it goes publiclater this month, but tech veterans like Kim Caughey Forrest are negative on Facebook and other unproven companies in new areas like cloud computing because, at this point, there is not a clear path to monetizing their user base.

If you believe that technology valuations are stretched, that innovation will not be the productivity-generating cure-all for businesses, or that consumer demand for high-priced tablets and smartphones will wane, you can bet against the entire sector by owning ProShares UltraShort Technology, which aims to deliver twice the inverse return of a tech index heavily weighted inApple,Microsoft, IBMand Google .

Given’s Apple’s momentum, a more tactical tech play would be to short shares of SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology, an ETFwith a much lower weighting to the iPhone maker.

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Economic and demographic forces are conspiring against tech stocks in mature, commoditized industries like PCs, software and telecommunications, say bearish analysts.

While the ETF industry lacks a direct play on PC makers, iShares North American Technology-Software and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Index provide vehicles to bet against software and wireless carriers.