In a move to bring more balance to the weighting of the NASDAQ 100 stock index, the NASDAQ OMX group announced a Special Rebalancing of the stock weightings in the index. The re-balancing will take effect on May 2. The big news of the re-balance is the reduction of Apple's weight in the NASDAQ 100 by almost 40 percent.
The NASDAQ 100 stock index tracks the 100 largest stocks trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The index is often viewed as a technology indicator and approximately 60 of the stock weighting in the index is tech stocks. The Special Rebalancing follows the rules set up by the NASDAQ in 1998 to maintain a balanced representation of stocks in the index. The rules focus on the large stocks in the index. Here are the weighting change for the largest companies in the NASDAQ 100.
- Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reduction from 20.49% to 12.33%, change: minus 8.16%.
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): increase from 3.41% to 8.32%, plus 4.91%.
- Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL): increase from 3.32% to 6.68%, plus 3.36%.
- Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), increase from 4.18% to 5.17 percent, plus 1.59%.
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): increase from 1.75% to 4.20%, plus 2.45%.
- Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), increase from 1.56% to 3.66%, plus 2.10%.
These six stocks will comprise just over 40 percent of the NASDAQ 100 total value. The result of the re-balancing will be hundreds of millions of shares trading hands at the close on May 1. NASDAQ estimates 9.5 million shares will trade for every $1 billion benchmarked to the NASDAQ 100.
The effects of this re-balancing will result in NASDAQ tracking index funds and ETFs making a massive one day trade to bring the funds in alignment with the new NASDAQ 100 stock allocation. From a stock price point of view, the question is whether the re-balance will have a significant effect on the Apple share price and how long the effects will last.
Apple has grown from a market cap of $2 billion in 1998 to $330 billion currently. This is a 160-fold increase in 13 years. The stock has increased by a factor of 7 over the last 5 years and the value increase has appeared unstoppable at times. Will this re-balancing of the NASDAQ 100 will reduce demand for Apple shares plus put enough of a dent in the share price to have some of the momentum traders jump off the Apple wagon?
Of course, Apple is still churning out high levels of revenue and profit growth. The re-balance effect will be primarily of a technical analysis factor and the fundamentals are also pushing the stock. The change in the NASDAQ 100 will require all shares be traded at a single moment, so it will be interesting to see if there is both a short term and longer effects on the Apple share price.