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ResearchThree Things (1/22)

Three Things (1/22)

Jan 22, 2024

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New all-time highs

The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high on Friday, surpassing the prior highs from January 2022. Stocks have climbed steadily since late last year, a broad rally powered by investors’ expectation that the Fed may soon begin cutting interest rates after a long campaign of increases. Last week, continued optimism about the health of the chip industry lifted shares of technology companies.

Forward looking multiples generally rise coming out of economic slowdowns, because investors are pricing in a recovery. If that recovery doesn’t materialize, it’s easy to believe that the sustainability of the rally will come into question. 

Apple Vision Slow

The long-awaited launch of Apple Vision Pro in February is off to a seemingly slow start. Major streaming giants like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify announced that they aren’t planning on releasing a dedicated app. There are still companies willing to participate: TikTok, Disney+, Max, and Amazon Prime Video are all set to launch immersive experiences on the new device. 

We don’t blame other tech giants for waiting to see how demand shakes out before committing serious resourcing to a standalone experience. The Vision Pro is category defining hardware and we’re not surprised given the mediocre success of past headsets like Meta’s Oculus. The pressure is on but consumer demand will eventually drive the story here.

Confidence from TSMC

Taiwan Semiconductor reported earnings last week and announced that they expect revenue in 2024 to grow more than 20% from last year. Given its technological leadership, the firm is the go-to manufacturer for companies like Nvidia, which are designing the most cutting-edge AI chips. TSMC’s better-than-projected numbers underscored expectations for a bounce-back in smartphone, chip and computing demand, following a slow 2023.

TSMC’s outlook offered much-needed reassurance to investors accustomed to a depressed market. Investors closely follow the semiconductor sector because it tends to be "early cyclical." When manufacturers and other chip customers are preparing to ramp up production in anticipation of future growth, the first thing they do is order more semiconductors. It appears technology leaders are ramping up production again, a reason for optimism from investors.


Disclosures:

As of writing, AAPL, AMZN, META, NVDA, DIS, and GOOGL are holdings in Titan's Flagship strategy.

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