Will Tech Stocks Recover?

By Duncan Ferris


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Major tech stocks like Apple, Netflix, Meta Platforms, Alphabet, and Amazon remain below their share price all-time highs. Will tech stocks recover?

A Distant view of planet earth in the dark with a map of lights illustrating technological advancements.
When will the tech market recover?

Tech stocks largely declined between November 2021 and February 2023, with their pronounced downturn in fortunes leading to the fall across multiple sectors. However, the ‘AI boom’, led by NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) in 2023, led markets to perform strongly with an unexpected boost to the tech sector.

Every quarter a broad array of major tech earnings generates a buzz as investors anticipate the next round of financial updates to determine whether tech is looking at a bullish or bearish period ahead. The next round heading our way is never too far off, so it remains a good time to ask whether tech stocks will recover.

What Defines Tech Stocks?

First, it seems prudent to simply define the stocks that are in the frame here, under the umbrella of "tech stocks."

These companies have been the top dogs for the last decade, steering market sentiment. 

They include any stock in the technology sector, which can involve anything from designing and manufacturing semiconductors, through to developing and selling software applications.

Some examples include:

The Volatile Nature of Tech Stocks

Tech stocks have seen their share of ups and downs, often serving as market trendsetters. Various tech stock ETFs, such as the Vanguard Information Technology ETF, the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund, or the WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund offer a snapshot of the sector's fluctuating fortunes.

When Will The Tech Market Recover?

Despite a rally in the tech market in 2023, major stocks have yet to reclaim their former peaks. Therefore, when will the tech industry recover to a point that it feels secure for investors to back these stocks?

With so much uncertainty in the world, there remains a degree of risk in the tech stock market as a decade-long period of low interest rates allowed it to enjoy sustained growth.

While a swift recovery seems unlikely, the rapid advancements in technologies like AI and machine learning offer a glimmer of hope. Many experts believe that such innovations could sustain tech momentum in the long run, even if a full recovery remains elusive for now.

Factors Influencing Tech Stock Performance

Several catalysts contribute to the volatility of tech stocks:

  • Inflation: High inflation rates make consumers cautious about spending, affecting subscription-based services and high-end product sales.

  • Interest Rates: Rising interest rates make borrowing expensive, a challenge for tech companies that rely on external funding for innovation.

  • Advertising Revenue: Companies like Meta Platforms and Alphabet depend on advertising revenue, which can decline during economic downturns.

  • Supply Chain Issues: Shortages in essential components like semiconductors can hamper a company's ability to meet product demand.

  • Global Events: Geopolitical tensions and conflicts can disrupt supply chains and market stability.

  • Consumer Behavior: Post-pandemic shifts back to traditional retail and office work can affect tech companies that thrived during lockdowns.

Why Did Tech Stocks Decline in 2022?

From November 2021 to February 2023 tech stocks took a hit. There appear to be a variety of catalysts behind the decline. 

Inflation is a huge issue for tech stocks. Consumers are more likely to be tightening their purse strings and avoiding the more extravagant purchases they might make during less challenging times.

That can mean anything from canceling subscriptions to services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, to deciding not to purchase the latest iPhone or games console.

Rising inflation has also led to the implementation of higher interest rates, a difficult pill to swallow for tech companies which are often heavily reliant on borrowing to fund new innovations.

Additionally, the advertising revenues that tech giants like Meta Platforms and Alphabet rely heavily on declined as companies dealt with tighter budgets and macroeconomic uncertainty.

Then there were the supply chain difficulties, such as a shortage of semiconductors, which left some tech companies unable to effectively meet demand for their products.

Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine also dealt the sector a significant blow. As well as adding further supply chain difficulties and supercharging inflation, the conflict led major tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Microsoft, SAP (NYSE: SAP) and more to withdraw some or all services from Russia.

Finally, tech stocks suffered from a bit of a comedown off the back of the pandemic. With lockdowns shutting off the outside world for many people globally, technology like streaming services, e-commerce, and workplace software did a roaring trade during the darkest days of COVID-19 as the world embraced digital solutions.

But, after plodding through two years and varying degrees of lockdown, people were heading back to the office, canceling subscriptions and returning to brick-and-mortar stores. That means many tech stocks saw their revenues slide back to pre-pandemic levels.

This led stocks like Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON) and Teladoc (NYSE: TDOC) to plummet by more than 80%. 

Is Momentum Building in Tech Stocks?

While the sector faces challenges like inflation and economic slowdown, it remains a focal point for investors. Tech stocks have led market trends for years, making them a bellwether for broader market health. However, short-term rallies can sometimes mislead, appearing as bear market rallies that precede further declines.

It’s worth noting that many of the factors that precipitated the tech stock slump are still very much in play. Inflation remains a concern as central banks seek to get inflation back to their 2% targets.

Even so, many investors remain intensely interested in the slew of tech stock earnings being released. With tech stocks having led markets for the last decade, they are an obvious focal point for investors looking for a bellwether.

Tech Stock Earnings Reports: A Mixed Bag

Earnings reports serve as critical indicators of a company's health. While some companies may exceed revenue expectations, others might fall short, affecting the sector's overall momentum. For instance, Alphabet and Microsoft have seen their shares drop following less-than-stellar earnings reports. While the opposite is equally true with NVIDIA surprising investors and analysts alike in its 2023 earnings updates, leading to a massive rally in the stock.

Beware the Bear Market Rally

It’s important to note that a tech stock rally can be brief, potentially signaling a bear market rally where equities may experience a temporary boost before declining once more. Several factors can trigger such a rally:

Oversold Conditions

When stocks have been heavily sold off, they may reach a point where they are considered "oversold," prompting investors to buy in at lower prices.

Positive News

Short-term positive news or events, such as better-than-expected earnings reports or favorable economic data, can instigate a temporary rally.

Short Covering

Investors who have shorted stocks may decide to cover their positions, buying back the stocks and driving prices up temporarily.

Psychological Factors

Investor sentiment can play a significant role. A slight uptick in stock prices may lead investors to believe that the worst is over, triggering buying activity.

Market Timing

Some investors may attempt to time the market bottom, buying into stocks they perceive as undervalued, which can lead to a temporary price increase.

Government or Regulatory Intervention

Actions such as interest rate cuts or fiscal stimulus can boost market sentiment temporarily, leading to a rally.

While a bear market rally can offer short-term profit opportunities, it's crucial to approach it with caution, as the broader downtrend is likely to resume.

Will Amazon Stock Recover?

As one of the tech giants that has redefined commerce and cloud computing, Amazon faces its own set of challenges and opportunities. Despite facing headwinds like increased competition and regulatory scrutiny, Amazon's diversified business model, which spans e-commerce, Amazon web services cloud, and multiple facets of entertainment, positions it well for long-term growth.

While short-term setbacks may rattle investor confidence, the company's innovation-driven approach and global reach make it a subject of keen interest for those betting on its eventual recovery and sustained market leadership. 

Will Meta Stock Recover?

Despite its dominant position in the social media landscape and ongoing ventures into emerging technologies like virtual reality, Meta Platforms has not been immune to market volatility. As the company navigates these complexities, the potential for its stock to rebound keeps investors and market analysts asking "Will Meta Stock Recover?"

Its ability to quickly test markets through impressive launches, such as Threads, and its incredible customer reach give it a massive advantage in the big tech space.

Whether Meta can successfully keep abreast of changing market conditions and rapidly adapt to meet consumer preferences will be a critical factor in determining the stock's long-term trajectory.

Economic indicators, technological advancements, and Meta's strategic moves all play a role in shaping investor confidence.

The Long-Term Outlook: When Will Tech Stocks Recover?

While the timing of a tech market recovery may be elusive, its integral role in shaping the future—through innovation, digitization, and problem-solving—offers a sense of enduring optimism.

Factors like slowing inflation, accelerating economic growth, and macroeconomic stability will likely serve as indicators of a healthier tech stock environment in the future. Nevertheless, investors and market analysts remain keenly focused on the question, "When Will Tech Stocks Thrive Again?" as they navigate the complexities of the current volatile market.

While tech stocks may face short-term challenges, their integral role in an increasingly digital world suggests a favourable long-term outlook. Even in uncertain times, the long-term prospects for the tech market often appear promising, underpinned by society's ever-increasing reliance on technology.

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In this article:

Author: Duncan Ferris

This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Duncan Ferris does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Duncan Ferris has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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