Two semiconductor exchange-traded funds (ETF) have posted their best quarterly performances since 2020 as investors bet chipmakers are on the rebound as interest in artificial intelligence (AI) gains momentum.
The VanEck Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ: SMH) has risen over 30% year-to-date, while the iShares Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ: SOXX) has climbed 29% this quarter, marking their best respective quarterly performances since 2Q and 4Q of 2020.
That broader market outperformance -- as the S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ: QQQ) have only risen roughly 7.5% and 21%, respectively, in the first quarter -- was driven by outstandingly strong performances from chipmakers including Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU).
Standing out from its peers, Nvidia has risen over 94% year-to-date, soaring over 22% in the month of March alone, as the stock posts its best quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 2001.
Much of Nvidia's gains come from investor optimism that the chipmaker is going to become an industry leader for the hardware that powers AI technology.
This week, Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon reiterated the firm's Outperform rating Nvidia and raised the stock's price target to $300 from $265 as the firm becomes increasingly bullish towards the chipmak...