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  • Ask Siri whether we are in a technology bubble, and all Apple's silky-voiced digital assistant could say is "interesting question."

  • And indeed it is.

  • The US equity market's increasingly punchy valuations

  • and rise to a new record high on Thursday have caused a lot of hand-wringing.

  • But strip out tech and things do look less frothy.

  • The S&P 500 has gained nearly 8% this year but tech shares have jumped almost 20%.

  • Strip out that, and the US equity benchmark is up just 1.4%.

  • If we zoom out, it becomes clear there is a broad rally in so-called "growth" stocks.

  • The performance of S&P 500 growth shares relative to value stocks is just 1 percentage point of being the greatest since the dot-com bubble in 2000.

  • But technology is the primary driver, especially the FAANGtastic Five.

  • The shares of Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Netflix have all gained over 30% this year.

  • And Google is up 24%.

  • Their total market capitalization now stands at a whopping 2.4 trillion dollars.

  • That makes them bigger than the entire French CAC-40 Index or Germany's DAX.

  • Nearly as large as the entire FTSE 100.

  • The question is whether investors are getting sucked into the market's biggest momentum play,

  • pushing up valuations to bubbly levels.

  • And there are some worrying signs of this.

  • Hedge funds are tilting heavily towards tech.

  • Facebook, Amazon and Google are the biggest positions in most funds tracked by Goldman Sachs.

  • And if inflows into tech-focused mutual funds maintain the same pace,

  • then this will be the strongest year in 50 years according to Bank of America.

  • Meanwhile, Citi's Global Economic Surprise Index,

  • which measures how often data come out better or worse than expected,

  • has slumped to the lowest since November,

  • and that should give investors who have piled into equities some pause for thought.

  • Nonetheless, it's probably too soon to call time on the tech-powered rally.

  • While the Nasdaq Internet Index is trading at 34 times its forward looking earnings,

  • the big S&P 500 tech gauge is trading at a more reasonable 18 times.

  • And there is little on the horizon to dent the growth of the FAANGs.

  • But at some point the momentum will reverse.

  • As BAML said in a recent note,

  • there are nascent signs we're in the very early stages of an overshoot.

Ask Siri whether we are in a technology bubble, and all Apple's silky-voiced digital assistant could say is "interesting question."

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B1 UK FinancialTimes tech rally index market growth

Tech electrifies US market rally | Short View

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    missnerdypants posted on 2017/06/01
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