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Weekend reads: What exactly is going on with big tech stocks?

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After many years during which the most familiar technology companies pulled the entire stock market up with them, 2021 is turning out to be a slow one for big tech.

Here’s how the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 have performed this year through May 20 (with dividends reinvested):

Information technology has been this year’s second-weakest performer, with consumer discretionary taking the bottom spot. (That sector includes Amazon.com Inc.) That follows a stellar 44% return during the pandemic year of 2020. You can also see that IT has been the market’s long-term leader.

A rapidly growing economy with higher inflation “hits high P/E growth stocks the most, especially in the short term,” according to Jordan Kahn, chief investment officer of ACM Funds in Los Angeles.

For traders and short-term investors, you’ve been warned. But for long-term investors, it may be difficult for some of the largest tech companies to continue growing quickly enough to justify their high price-to-earnings valuations, according to a data study by Vincent Deluard, head of global macro strategy at investment firm StoneX, which was covered by Mark Hulbert.

Related tech stock coverage:

Alphabet bucks the tech trend — should you buy the stock?

Google holding company Alphabet Inc. has had a good run this year, with its Class A shares up 32% and its class C shares up 35% through May 20. Jeff Reeves dives into the company’s financial performance and valuation, and considers whether it is a good time for investors to buy.

Another tech giant: Amazon is a cheap stock for long-term investors. These numbers tell you why.

What about Uber and Lyft?

(Getty Images)

As the economy reopens, ride-sharing is heating up again. Michael Brush compares Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. as financial performers and as investments.

Read on: Most Uber and Lyft trips will have to transition to electric vehicles in this decade, California declares

Bitcoin’s dive

Bitcoin was down 38% through May 20 to $40,320 from its intraday high of $65,520 on April 14. But it was still up 37% for 2021 and up more than fourfold from a year earlier.

Mark DeCambre rounds up the newest events surrounding virtual currencies, including the Chinese government’s crackdown plans.

Here’s his look at the technical aspects of bitcoin’s decline.

William Watts considers how China’s government action against cryptocurrencies might backfire.

The pandemic’s lesson may not be learned

Jaimy Lee interviews Rick Bright, a virologist and immunologist who has worked for four presidents, about COVID-19 infections of people who had already been vaccinated, and about changes that need to be made before the next pandemic.

Retail heats up as the pandemic fades
Weekend reads: What exactly is going on with big tech stocks? 2

(Louisa Gouliamaki/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, people are traveling again — and shopping. Tonya Garcia looks at the retail landscape, including sales at Macy’s Inc. and Walmart Inc., and highlights encouraging trends.

A big problem at age 65

Continuing her Help Me Retire series, Alessandra Malito has advice for a 65-year-old woman emerging from bankruptcy who has “nothing saved.”

Retirement fears
Weekend reads: What exactly is going on with big tech stocks? 3

(Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Paul Brandus looks deep into the results of a survey that indicates Americans fear outliving their money and related data about a lack of preparedness for life after careers end.

Retirement planning

Paul Merriman recommends a simple strategy to increase your investment portfolio’s diversification and wind up with a much better long-term result, based on decades of performance.

More on retirement investing: Jack Bogle’s ghost warns about 401(k)s.

Best places to live and work abroad
Weekend reads: What exactly is going on with big tech stocks? 4

Porto, Portugal, from across the Douro River. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Jeff Opdyke provides detailed information about what is required to obtain visa and work permits in various countries, and also looks into various financial details. Here are his recommended four best places to live and work abroad.

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