ETF Spotlight: QQQ’s 25 Years of Tracking Tech Titans

QQQ trades near its all-time highs as the growth stock proxy celebrates its 25th anniversary.

kent
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Research Lead
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

The Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ), launched in 1999, has become synonymous with the meteoric rise of the technology sector. This week’s ETF spotlight explores QQQ's 25-year journey, highlighting its performance, top holdings, and the ever-evolving landscape it reflects.

Fittingly, QQQ is trading near its all-time highs as the growth stock proxy celebrates its 25th anniversary and we look back on its storied journey.

Early Days of QQQ: The Dot-Com Boom and Bust 

The QQQ ETF debuted March 10, 1999, tracking the top 100 non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. It captured the burgeoning internet and tech companies of the late 90s, climbing more than 100% on the strength of top holdings that included Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc. 

From 2000 to 2002, the dot-com bubble burst, leading to a dramatic decline in QQQ’s value. The growth stock proxy plunged over 80% from its peak, showcasing the fund’s susceptibility to market volatility in the tech sector. 

QQQ’s Decade of Recovery to the Rise of FAANGs

From 2003 to 2007, QQQ steadily recovered from the dot-com crash, reflecting the resurgence of tech giants like Apple and Microsoft. The Great Financial Crisis and bear market of 2008 was a major correction for growth stocks, but 2009’s resurgence showed promise for what was to come for QQQ.

In the decade from 2010 to 2020, QQQ witnessed phenomenal growth, fueled by the dominance of tech giants like Facebook (now Meta Platforms Inc.), Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Netflix, and Google (now Alphabet Inc.)—collectively known as the FAANG stocks. 

2020 to Present: Mag 7 and QQQ’s All-Time High

Through the challenges of the Covid-induced drop in 2020 and the bear market of 2022, QQQ continued its upward trajectory from 2020 to 2024, benefiting from the surge in e-commerce, cloud computing and the increased reliance on technology during and after the pandemic.  

The emergence in 2023 of artificial intelligence boosted related stocks, especially the so-called “Magnificent 7,” which included Nvidia Corp., Meta Platforms Inc., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Tesla Inc. 

On March 1, 2024, QQQ reached an all-time closing high of $445.61. 

Top 10 QQQ Holdings

HoldingWeight

Microsoft Corp (MSFT)

8.84%

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

7.62%

Nvidia Corp (NVDA)

6.43%

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN)

5.23%

Meta Platforms Inc Class A (META)

5.01%

Broadcom Inc (AVGO)

4.35%

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST)

2.40%

Alphabet Inc Class A (GOOGL)

2.37%

Tesla Inc (TSLA)

2.34%

Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD)

2.33%

Data as of March 13, 2024. 

Looking Ahead for QQQ: A Maturing Landscape

The tech sector continues to evolve, with new areas like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and renewable energy gaining prominence. The QQQ ETF reflects this changing landscape, as companies in these sectors rise through the ranks. 

QQQ's 25-year journey mirrors the remarkable rise of the technology industry. As the tech landscape continues to develop, QQQ is likely to remain a prominent instrument for investors seeking exposure to this dynamic sector. 

QQQ passively tracks the Nasdaq 100 index, which consists of approximately 50% technology stocks, making it susceptible to tech-specific risks and market fluctuations. 

Kent Thune is Research Lead for etf.com, focusing on educational content, thought leadership, content management and search engine optimization. Before joining etf.com, he wrote for numerous investment websites, including Seeking Alpha and Kiplinger. 

 

Kent holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and is a practicing Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) with 25 years of experience managing investments, guiding clients through some of the worst economic and market environments in U.S. history. He has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching classes for The College of Charleston and Trident Technical College on the topics of retirement planning, business finance, and entrepreneurship. 

 

Kent founded a registered investment advisory firm in 2006 and is based in Hilton Head Island, SC, where he lives with his wife and two sons. Outside of work, Kent enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and working on his philosophy book, which he plans to publish in the coming year.