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Nasdaq (US_Tech100) Performance During the Pandemic
The NASDAQ Composite Index is arguably the most significant large-cap growth index in the world. With 100 mega companies – domestic and foreign – listed on the premier index, the NASDAQ, aka US_Tech100, is a titan in more ways than one. The stats certainly tell the story of the NASDAQ well. The NASDAQ Composite Index – US Tech 100 – has outperformed the S&P 500 index 10 times over the past 12 years (as at March 2021). By the end of 2019, the market capitalisation of the NASDAQ was $9.8 trillion. By 2021, that figure had swelled tremendously.
Most traders and investors understand that the world’s pre-eminent tech stocks constitute the bulk of the NASDAQ’s market capitalisation. Companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, and the like are the heavy hitters of the NASDAQ. The US Tech 100 features 490+ linked products, notably futures, options, annuities, and exchange traded funds (ETFs). In terms of NASDAQ 100 industry weightings, the biggest components include technology and consumer services. Minor components of the NASDAQ 100 by industry include healthcare, consumer goods, industrials, telecommunications, and utilities. As at 2020 May 27, the YTD returns for the NASDAQ 100 featured the following returns:
- Telecommunications – 119.0 %
- Consumer Goods – 15.2%
- Health Care – 13.8%
- Consumer Services – 6.6%
- Technology – 4.8%
- Industrials – -1.3%
- Utilities – -10.6%.
In H1 2020, it is notable that the strongest performing sector of the NASDAQ was also one of its smallest components (telecommunications). By far the heaviest weighting in the NASDAQ is the technology sector, followed close into by consumer services. Combined, these two components make up an estimated 70% – 80% of the NASDAQ composite index. That’s why the performance of companies like FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) + Apple are so important. As at March 2021, the market capitalisation of Apple Inc (AAPL) alone was $2.037 trillion, Google (GOOG) was $1.417 trillion, Amazon (AMZN) was $1.51 trillion, and Facebook (FB) was $749.706 billion.
Upon closer inspection, it is clear why the performance of these stocks in particular has such an outsized impact on the performance of the NASDAQ 100 index overall. South African traders at AvaTrade are able to trade the US Tech 100 components via CFDs. A combination of technical and fundamental analysis can be employed to better understand price movements vis-a-vis NASDAQ 100 index components. The entire index can be traded via CFDs, or individual components can be traded via CFDs. There are benefits to derivatives trading over traditional ‘buy and sell’ options. For starters, traders don’t need to purchase the underlying asset and wait for it to appreciate in order to generate returns. With CFDs, it’s entirely possible to generate an ROI whichever way prices move, provided that the trade is accurately called.
Trading US_Tech100, based on NASDAQ 100
The Nasdaq is a benchmark index for US technology stocks and a global electronic marketplace for buying and selling securities. The term Nasdaq that is also referred to the Nasdaq composite, which is an index of over 3,000 stocks that are listed on the Nasdaq exchange. This exchange in particular includes the globe’s forerunners in technology and biotech such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Intel and Amazon to list a few. However, there is a difference between the Nasdaq composite and the Nasdaq 100 which is made up of 100 largest nonfinancial companies listed on the NASDAQ exchange. Both are market capitalization-weighted indexes that are made up of both US based and international stocks that represent the NASDAQ Global Select Market Composite. These stocks need to meet the strict liquidity requirements and need to adhere to corporate governance standards.
NASDAQ trading – How to Trade NASDAQ 100 ?
Nasdaq 100 History
Nasdaq 100 was launched on 31 January 1985, by Nasdaq and started off with two separate indices: The NASDAQ-100 consists of retail, technology, telecommunication, health care, transport, etc. and the NASDAQ Financial-100 which consists of banking, insurance firms, mortgage and brokerage houses. By creating two traded indices the NASDAQ wanted options and futures contracts would be created on their basis in the hopes that other mutual funds would adopt the same principles on their benchmarks.
The base price of the index was set at 250 and closed at 800 on the last day of December 1993, the base was reset at 125 on the 1st of January 1994 leaving the NASDAQ 100 price below that of the more popular NASDAQ Composite. The all-time highs for the index were welcomed by the dot-com bubble that was in 2000 where they stood above the 4,700 level. In 2002 the markets started evolving to the recession and the September 11 attacks and the Afghan War, that saw the index drop to the 900-point level during this period. The recovery took 5 years and eventually the index corrected itself on February 16, 2001 and high of 2,239.51-point level. The Late-2000s recession the US saw the housing bubble and Global Financial Crisis of 2008, with a correction at below 2,000-point level. While the Nasdaq 100 also experienced a limit down on the 24th of October 2008, and as a result on November 20, 2008 the index reached a 6-year intraday low of 1,018. The Quantitative Easing (QE) from the Fed (Federal Reserve) was what brought in the end of the financial crisis, the index started on a volatile four-year climb, and on May 15, 2013 closed above 3,000. Thanks to GOOG (google Inc.) on the 18th of October 2013, the index closed at a high of 3,355.63 as each Google’s share was sold for more than $1,000. Finally, the index reached 4,593.27 as 2015 came to a close.
NASDAQ 100 Index composition
The Nasdaq 100 includes 100 of the largest domestic and international non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, and is calculated based on modified market capitalization-weighted methodology. Every quarter the Nasdaq will be reviewed, and the composition of the Nasdaq 100 index weightings are adjusted according to its components by means of a proprietary algorithm, and if the composites do not meet pre-defined weight distribution requirements they are excluded.
|Companies||Index weighting (%)|
|Cisco Systems Inc||2.7%|
Factors that influence the overall index price
It is always handy for traders to follow the PMI (Pre-Market Indicator), as it predicts opening prices based on closing price of the last sale from the pre-market trade. This PMI also takes into consideration overnight news, hence assisting traders in market predictions. The main factors that influence the Nasdaq stocks are heavily skewed towards the technology sector. The stocks are more volatile and change direction quickly.
Trading Nasdaq 100 in Africa
There are different ways to trade the Nasdaq 100 index from Africa. The most popular ways are derivatives such as CFDs, ETFs, as well as Futures and Options.
CFDs allow traders to trade the price changes of an underlying asset (in this case Nasdaq 100). You do not own the underlying asset; you only speculate on its price changes. This means that you can choose to go long or go short depending on prevailing market conditions. CFDs are the most straightforward way to trade Nasdaq 100 in Africa – there are no restrictions, conditions, or any limits whatsoever.
Futures contracts are agreements to exchange an asset at a specified date with a predetermined price. Index futures are cash-settled daily. There are no deliverables on the expiry date, but investors collect the difference in value every day as profits or losses. When you trade Nasdaq 100 futures through AvaTrade, there is a minimum contract size as well as a minimum margin requirement.
Options are contracts that give you the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell the value of an underlying asset (Nasdaq 100). Investors buy call options when they expect the value of Nasdaq 100 to rise and put options when they expect the value of the index to fall. Like futures, there is a premium to be paid when trading options as well as an expiration date when the contract will be cash-settled.
ETFs are baskets of securities that trade on the stock exchanges just like a traditional stock. They operate much like mutual funds, with the difference being that they can be bought or sold on a stock exchange like a normal stock. ETFs are designed to replicate the performance of an index. There are a couple of Nasdaq 100 ETFs available for Africans to buy both online and offline.
Nasdaq 100 Trading Tips for Africans
Nasdaq 100 is available for trading from 0930hrs ET to 1600hrs ET (1630hrs SAST to 2300hrs SAST) on weekdays. Pre-market trading is also available from 0400hrs ET to 0930hrs ET (1100hrs SAST to 1630hrs SAST).
Nasdaq 100 is a market capitalization-weighted index. The index is particularly heavy on tech stocks, with the ‘Big 3’ (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon) carrying the heaviest weights among the constituents. Other notable constituents include Tesla, Alphabet, Meta, and NVidia. The index contains some of the most influential tech companies in the world, and broader tech sentiment is always well reflected on its price.
Trading the Nasdaq 100 with Technical Analysis
Technical analysis is used to analyse the price action of assets on charts. There are a number of indicators that are all designed to locate buy signals and sell signals based on historical patterns. Technical analysis can help traders identify trends, find potential reversals, and gauge the overall market sentiment. One popular indicator used in technical analysis is the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) oscillator. It consists of two lines, the MACD line and the signal line and signals potential buy and sell points when these two lines cross. When the MACD line crosses above the signal line it’s an indication to buy, and when the MACD line crosses below the signal line it’s an indication to sell.
The MACD is just one of the many different indicators used by traders. You should test many of these indicators and find those that you understand best, and those that work best with your trading style. It’s also important to understand that technical analysis isn’t always accurate, and so risk management is also important. Traders should be sure to use an appropriate amount of leverage, and follow the appropriate money management and risk management strategies. Technical analysis isn’t the only way to locate opportunities in trading. There is another type of analysis called fundamental analysis that seeks to use real-world events, news, and data to predict the price movements in assets.
Trading the US_Tech100 using Fundamental Analysis
While technical analysis can be used to locate potential buy and sell levels based on historical price movements, the real driver behind those moves is often fundamental variables. That makes it very important for traders to understand and account for the fundamental variables that can have an impact on market movements. There are a number of these fundamental variables, such as the following:
- The top companies in the Nasdaq 100 can have an outsized impact on the movement of the index as a whole. That’s because as a capitalization weighted index the largest companies tend to have the most impact on the index. That means to trade the Nasdaq 100 successfully you should also have a firm grasp on the movements of the top components like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.
- Monetary policy changes from the Federal Reserve have an impact on every market, and the Nasdaq 100 is no exception. Loose monetary policy tends to lift the market in general as investors expect borrowing and investment for businesses to become less expensive.
- Many of the reports on economic activity in the U.S. will impact the Nasdaq 100. This includes manufacturing data, consumer spending, retail sales, inflation readings, employment, and overall GDP. All of these data points report on the strength of the economy, plus they can also have an impact on the future actions of the Federal Reserve.
- Trade wars can have an impact on the multi-national companies in the Nasdaq 100 by increasing tariffs and by putting up barriers to trade.
- Regulations and government actions can impact the price of individual components of the Nasdaq 100, and thus impact the overall index. For example, anti-trust hearings often include the largest of the Nasdaq 100 components, and when several of the top ten components fall at the same time it can put strong downward pressures on the index as a whole.
US_Tech100 Trading information
- The NASDAQ 100 futures contract (called the E-Mini) is tradable from 22:00-20:14 & 20:30-20:59 (GMT), Monday to Friday
- The Nasdaq-100 price moves in increments of 0.25
- The margin requirement for trading the Nasdaq composite is usually about 0.5% (i.e. leverage)
- The minimum trade size is 1 unit
- The currency of the Nasdaq 100 is the US Dollar
Trade the US_Tech100 with AvaTrade
AvaTrade are committed to providing you, our traders, with the most up to date trading tips, tools and professional coaching advice that will assist you when making trading decisions on the NASDAQ 100 index.
- Enjoy the security of online trading with a globally regulated forex broker
- NASDAQ 100 index trading
- Go long or short – trade your view on the market
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- Rely on 24/5 multi-lingual client support
US_Tech100 Trading Main FAQs
- What is the US_Tech100 Index?
The US_Tech100 (Nasdaq index) is composed of the 100 largest and most actively traded stocks on the Nasdaq exchange. Because the Nasdaq exchange does not include financial companies, and is heavily weighted towards both technology and health care, the US_Tech100 is often considered to be a benchmark for the strength of the technology and health care industries. Because many of the companies listed on the Nasdaq are high growth the Nasdaq 100 has delivered strong returns over the past two decades.
- Should I trade the US_Tech100 Index?
Anyone interested in speculating on the growth of the technology industry should be interested in trading the US_Tech100. With over 50% of the index comprised of technology names the index is an excellent proxy for the technology sector. Plus, as one of the most closely followed indices in the world, there is a wealth of knowledge regarding trading the US_Tech100. Both fundamental and technical analysis of the index is commonplace and easily found, which will make your own analysis easier.
- What is the best strategy for trading the US_Tech100 Index?
Traders can use either technical or fundamental analysis to trade the US_Tech100. The best strategy will depend on the trader’s own personality and knowledge regarding the strategy chosen. In the realm of technical trading there are a number of indicators that can work well in trading the Nasdaq 100, such as moving averages, MACD, RSI, and others. Price patterns such as support/resistance or trend channels can also be useful. Fundamental factors shouldn’t be overlooked when trading either. Major economic factors such as GDP, interest rates, trade issues and more should also be considered.