Market Beat: The rapid growth of technology stocks
November 24, 2014
One of my favorite quotes regarding technology was from the great Albert Einstein when he said, "It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
Of course, Einstein was concerned about technological advances being applied toward weapons development, rather than benefitting humanity in other ways.
Technology really has made our lives easier and more efficient. Our standard of living and our life expectancy is higher than ever.
If you study the stock market, the rapid growth in technology in recent years is readily apparent. Tech companies today have become the largest corporations in the world.
The biggest company in the world today is Apple, which has had a series of hit products with consumers including the iPad, iPod and iPhone. Recently, Microsoft became the second largest company in the world when it surpassed Exxon Mobil.
A company's size is measured by what is known as "market cap" or market capitalization. To calculate the market cap of a stock you take the recent stock price and multiply it by the number of shares that are outstanding.
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The result gives you the total value of the enterprise in dollars. For example, right now, Apple is worth almost $675 billion and could very well become the world's first trillion-dollar corporation.
The precise market cap of a stock changes with every fluctuation in share price.
Microsoft just passed Exxon, as the shares of Exxon Mobil have been dropping with the recent decline in the price of oil. Exxon has fallen about 6.5 percent this year, while Microsoft has risen over 30 percent.
Google isn't too far behind Exxon. Right now, Google's market cap is about $375 billion and Exxon's is just over $400 billion. If Google overtakes Exxon, the three largest companies in the world could be in the technology sector.
Other tech companies among the largest corporations are Oracle and Facebook. Facebook's market cap is over $200 billion and they just went public in 2012.
The growth of these tech stocks shows that technology will continue to play an ever increasing role in our lives.
Hopefully, advances in technology will enhance humanity and our future will be one that would have pleased Albert Einstein.
Kenneth Roberts is a Truckee-based Registered Investment Advisor. Information is at his blog at http://www.sellacalloption.com or 775-657-8065. The mention of securities should not be considered an offer to sell or solicitation to buy investments mentioned. Consult your investment professional to understand the risks and/or how the purchase or sale of these investments may be implemented to meet your investment goals. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.