Semiconductors are killing it—thanks to China


    Semiconductors are killing it, and you can thank China. The Semiconductor ETF (SMH) is just shy of the historic high it hit a year ago, and there’s good reason for it: China.

    • Qualcomm: 65%
    • Micron: 57%
    • Qorvo: 50%
    • Broadcom: 48%
    • Texas Instruments: 43%

    Source: Factset

    As optimism for a U.S.-China trade deal rises, so have semiconductor prices. In fact semis are the leadership group among technology and cyclicals more broadly this year, with AMD up nearly 60%, and Nvidia, Lam Research, Micron, Applied Materials and Broadcom all up 20% to 40%.

    Semiconductors year-to-date surge

    • Advanced Micro Devices: 58%
    • Nvidia: 42%
    • Lam Research: 41%
    • Micron: 38%
    • Applied Materials: 30%
    • Broadcom: 20%

    Not surprisingly, there has been a close relationship between semis and the China stock market itself..the Semiconductor ETF is up about 28%, and the Shanghai stock exchange is also up about 28% — the two have been moving in lockstep all year.

    Still the markets are pricing in a lot of optimism. Broadcom, for example, is a big Apple supplier. Softness in China, where Apple gets nearly 20% of its revenues, has been a concern. This whole play is based on stabilizing demand, not just in China but also in Europe.

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