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Chip stocks in the US experience a decline following their most robust performance since 2009

U.S. chip stocks faced a series of declines on Wednesday, witnessing a downturn from record highs after experiencing their most robust performance since the financial crisis in 2009. Notably, the PHLX semiconductor index, a key benchmark for Wall Street’s semiconductor sector, plummeted 2.1%, primarily influenced by drops exceeding 2% in major players like Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Qualcomm, and Broadcom.

The semiconductor index has encountered a nearly 7% decline since achieving a record high close on December 27. This recent slump in semiconductor stocks aligns with a broader decline across Wall Street, with investors closely monitoring the Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes for insights into its future interest rate decisions. The semiconductor sector, fueled by optimism around artificial intelligence and expectations of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, witnessed an impressive 65% surge in 2023 – its strongest performance since 2009. In comparison, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 saw annual gains of 43% and 24%, respectively.




us chip stocks tumble: US chip stocks tumble after strongest year since 2009  - The Economic Times
us chip stocks tumble: US chip stocks tumble after strongest year since 2009

The semiconductor industry’s positive trajectory was further supported by expectations that the global demand downturn experienced by memory chip makers in the previous year, leading to production cuts, had largely reached its nadir.

Nvidia, recognized as a leading provider of AI-related chips, saw its stock market value triple in 2023 to $1.2 trillion, positioning itself as the fifth most valuable company on Wall Street. Despite its recent dip of nearly 1%, Nvidia has been instrumental in driving the semiconductor sector’s overall performance.

In a client note, BofA Global Research analyst Vivek Arya recommended investors explore opportunities in cloud computing and automotive sectors through stocks such as Nvidia, Marvell Technology, NXP Semiconductors, and ON Semiconductor. Arya also highlighted stocks like KLA Corp and Arm Holdings for exposure to the increasing complexity of chip designs.

Wells Fargo analyst Joe Quatrochi expressed expectations for a subdued recovery in 2024 for chip equipment sellers and identified KLA and Applied Materials as top picks in this industry.

The recent downturn in chip stocks reflects the broader market sentiment and the potential impact of Federal Reserve decisions on interest rates. While the semiconductor sector has been a standout performer, concerns about economic conditions and regulatory factors contribute to the current market fluctuations. Investors are likely to closely monitor future developments, including the Fed’s stance and global economic trends, to navigate through the uncertainties impacting the semiconductor industry and broader financial markets.

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