The Truth Behind Trading Semiconductor (Chip) Stocks

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Semiconductor companies connection a lot of highly liquid securities that promote risk-taking successful each clip frames, from intraday scalping to monthly market timing. The assemblage besides supports assorted nett strategies, including momentum trading, basket allocations and short selling. It acts independently successful galore marketplace phases, going its ain mode portion large indices propulsion higher oregon lower. This divergent behaviour brings further opportunities, adjacent successful hard macro conditions. There are galore ways to commercialized the semiconductor space, from identifying peculiar stocks to investing successful the assemblage arsenic a full utilizing exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Currency speech rates (forex) interaction wide assemblage performance, with conscionable 2 of the apical 5 highest capitalized components based successful the United States: Intel (INTC) and Texas Instruments (TXN). In addition, a beardown U.S. dollar undermines spot makers with large overseas operations due to the fact that their products go little competitively priced. This is particularly existent successful mature sub-sectors that station little nett margins, similar representation chips and electronics utilized successful audio parts. The specter of tariffs connected Chinese exports to the United States besides is of interest to investors successful semiconductors wherever definite parts oregon assembly processes instrumentality spot overseas.

Finding the Best Chip Trade


Name (Symbol)   

Q3 2018 Market Cap
($ billions)

Intel Corp (INTC)   

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA)  

Texas Instruments Inc (TXN)  


Advanced Micro Devices (AMD


Applied Materials Inc (AMAT)   


Marvell Technology Group (MRVL


 Micron Technology Inc (MU

Stocks astatine each marketplace capitalization levels tin connection bully trading opportunities but astir marketplace players instrumentality with the astir fashionable names, playing those issues against leading oregon lagging Nasdaq 100 performance. American semiconductor blue-chip companies interaction that scale to a greater grade than the S&P 500, wherever they stock dual listings. These cross-market connections besides enactment a assortment of contrary strategies erstwhile banal show diverges sharply from scale performance.

Mid and small-cap semiconductors make a dependable watercourse of momentum and trend pursuing plays due to the fact that they usually amusement the highest maturation potential. Finding these blistery plays requires a database that sorts archetypal by capitalization and past by performance, looking for the strongest uptrends successful method strategies and fastest gross maturation successful cardinal strategies. The $500 cardinal to $2 cardinal capitalization portion offers a saccharine spot for emerging companies that person yet to pull wide nationalist interest, making it an fantabulous absorption for play survey and preparation.


The Truth Behind Trading Semiconductor Chip Stocks

Semiconductor ETFs


Name(Symbol)             Avg Volume
iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX)  449,300
Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH)  1,280,000
SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD)  31,000          
Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares (SOXL) 85,000
Invesco Dynamic Semiconductors Portfolio (PSI)  4,100
ProShares Ultra Semiconductors (USD)  6,250
Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3X Shares (SOXS)  73,600
ProShares UltraShort Semiconductors (SSG)  38,000

Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) attracts the astir measurement due to the fact that it’s the oldest assemblage exchange-traded fund, with the newer iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) providing nonstop competition. SOXX has a higher disbursal ratio, holds much assets and tends to screen a greater percent crushed successful a emblematic trading time than SMH. SMH trades with a tighter bid-ask spread, assisting terms delicate swing trading strategies, portion SOXX’s wider dispersed supports higher hazard momentum trading strategies. SMH besides has the largest open interest successful its listed options compared to its peers.

Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares (SOXL) and Daily Semiconductor Bear 3X Shares (SOXS) connection assertive players overmuch higher assemblage leverage, balanced with added hazard and higher costs. These securities are designed to output 3 times the question of a emblematic assemblage index. This works good with multiday bets but intraday returns tin alteration greatly owed to a periodic calculation of comparative value, often generating chaotic precocious time price action that diverges sharply from a non-leveraged assemblage ETF.

An ETF Trading Example

Image by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2021

Here is simply a humanities illustration of the iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) from the extremity of 2008 into 2009. As the illustration supra shows, SOXX shares broke out above the September precocious (blue line) successful November and hit an all-time precocious astatine 96.03 successful December. It sold off in a bull flag pattern (red lines) into February, investigating enactment astatine the breakout level and 50-day EMA. The Nasdaq 100 took off connected February 10 (black arrow)—in absorption to the affirmative overseas news—and roseate much than 1.3%. That outperformed the S&P 500 and different large-cap indices. Semiconductors underpin that tech rally, with SOXX rising much than 3%, breaking retired of the emblem signifier and triggering a large bargain signal. 

The Bottom Line

Chip stocks supply the biggest handbasket of exertion companies listed connected US exchanges. Major variations betwixt sub-components connection an endless assortment of trading and concern opportunities done divergent marketplace conditions. Semiconductor ETFs besides supply a bully mode to summation vulnerability to the sector.

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