Shares of Apple (AAPL) are fell 4.3% Wednesday and at one point during the session, the iPhone maker was lighter by $60 billion in market value after the company “disappointed” Wall Street by saying fiscal third-quarter profit rose “slightly” to $10.7 billion from $7.74 billion on revenue of “just” $49.61 billion.
Apple’s Wednesday woes are, predictably, having a dour effect on the exchange traded funds that feature heavy allocations to the iPad maker. For example, the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK ) , the largest technology ETF by assets, has an almost 18% weight to Apple, enough to have the fund trading lower by 1.5% today. [ETFs With big Apple Weights]
XLK’s Wednesday decline, and those of rival technology ETFs with significant Apple weights, remind investors of the potential dangers of owning a fund with large weights to just one or two stocks.
“Apple is a top-10 holding in 98 equity ETFs according to S&P Capital IQ. Besides being the largest stock ETFs tied to the S&P 500 index like Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO ) and the Russell 1000 like), iShares Russell 1000 ETF (NYSEArca: IWB ) , the technology giant is more heavily weighted in popular tech-laden products,” according to S&P Capital IQ.
The PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ ) , the Nasdaq-100 (NDQ) tracking ETF, entered Wednesday with a roughly 14% weight to Apple, enough to send that ETF lower by more than 1%. The $2.9 billion iShares U.S. Technology ETF (NYSEArca: IYW ) is perhaps the epitome of an “Apple ETF” with a 20.9% weight (as of July 21) to the stock. That big Apple weight was enough to drag IYW lower by almost 2% yesterday.
As S&P Capital IQ notes, there are ways to maintain tech sector exposure via ETFs while mitigating Apple or any other single-stock risk.
The First Trust NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index Fund (NasdaqGS: QQEW ) and the Direxion NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index Shares (NYSEArca: QQQE ) are equal-weight alternatives to QQQ. No stock accounts for more than 1.2% of QQEW’s weight and QQQE had 1% weights to its constituents at the end of the second quarter, according to issuer data.
Those ETFs lost about a third of a percent yesterday. The rub is that when Apple performs well, QQQE and QQEW while lag QQQ. Even with Wednesday’s slide, Apple is up more than 13% this year, helping QQQ to a 9% gain, better than double the returns of QQQE and QQEW. [NASDAQ the Equal-Weight Way]
The $954.2 million Guggenheim S&P Equal Weight Technology ETF (NYSEArca: RYT ) has a weight of less than 1.6% to Apple. That is less than the ETF’s weight to Facebook (FB), eBay (EBAY) and Visa (NYSE: V).
S&P Capital IQ has marketweight ratings on QTEW and RYT.
Direxion NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index Shares
Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of Apple, Facebook and QQQ.