Thursday, March 10, 2005

Is energy this decade's tech?

Today’s five year anniversary of NASDAQ’s all-time high of 5048 is passing with little notice from the Mainstream Media (MSM). Since NASDAQ is down 60% from its high, conventional wisdom among the MSM is that energy is the new tech.

But conventional wisdom is a bit off. My e-stocks index has climbed 140% since the post 9/11 lows (10/1/01) while my W-Industrial Complex (WIC) Index, consisting of energy, defense, and selected media and retailing companies which benefit from the current president’s policies, has climbed only slightly more: 149%. The e-stocks index consists of companies in nine Internet business segments which I analyzed in my book, e-Stocks (HarperBusiness, 2001). Since the post 9/11 lows, the e-stocks index is up 140% with Web content stocks faring the best and internet service providers the worst:

  • Web content: +373%
  • Web portals: +303%
  • E-commerce: +218%
  • Web security: + 149%
  • Web consulting: +127%
  • Internet venture capital: +46%
  • Web tools: +33%
  • Internet infrastructure: 13%
  • Internet service providers: 0%

Web content has been driven up by the MSM’s need to boost advertising dollars by acquiring companies like CBS MarketWatch (by the New York Times). Web portals and E-Commerce have been the real stars in the last five years, however, as profit has shifted from the infrastructure builders to the customer value creators.

No question, with oil broaching an all-time high, the market forces appear to favor WIC index stocks which rose 149% between 10/1/01 and yesterday’s close. The WIC index’s components varied in their performance with oil refining doing the best and integrated oil and oil services the worst:

  • Oil Refining: +334%
  • Natural Gas: +212%
  • Coal + 210%
  • Upscale retailing: +102%
  • Conservative media: +87%
  • Defense: + 86%
  • Oil Services: +83%
  • Integrated oil: + 81%


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