One cruel truth the stock market confirmed this past week is that trying to pick the bottom for technology stocks is a fool’s errand. The Nasdaq Composite’s terrible September—it was down 10.5% on the month—has made the bottom-fishing that took place over the summer look ill-advised. As I’ve noted before, the first downturn in tech earlier this year was all about valuations. This new phase of the decline is all about softening earnings. When it comes to price-to-earnings ratios, the market is running into a denominator problem.
The market downturn, the weaker economy, and the reversal of some pandemic-era trends have exposed weaknesses in the business models of companies such as Peloton Interactive (ticker: PTON), Zoom Video Communications (ZM), Shopify (SHOP), Affirm Holdings (AFRM), and Snap (SNAP), and investors have adjusted valuations accordingly. But there are still some powerful underlying secular trends that should eventually drive tech stocks higher. Investors with long time horizons and strong stomachs might consider inching into the market. I have a few ideas on where to look.