2017 will likely be remembered by investors as the year of the big rally in technology stocks. Unlike 1999, this year’s gains were powered by more than hype. As I’ve written a number of times, earnings for these firms have been fabulous.
In the third quarter of 2017, S&P technology companies had an earnings growth rate of about 21%. That kept the sector’s P/E ratio in the 20 range. Quite a contrast from early 2000 when it the forward price-to-earnings ratio for tech stocks was a whopping 52.
An even bigger story for 2017 was how the tech rally went global and how all the global tech giants became even bigger. Overall, tech stocks globally are up about on average about 42% year-to-date. That is roughly double the gain for the broad-based MSCI AC World Index.
And here’s an even more amazing number for you to contemplate… as of the day before Thanksgiving, just eight companies had gained an incredible $1.4 trillion in market capitalization in 2017. That was likely on the back of investor expectations that the big will only get bigger thanks to their huge user base, large cash piles and access to data on consumers.
Here is the list of these eight companies, starting with five American names you’ll recognize…