Tech has been one of the best-performing sectors in the stock market this year. Large tech stocks have rallied as much as 46 percent in the first half of 2023 primarily due to revenue from enterprise databases, cloud computing, and generative AI.
As the economy reopens post-pandemic and inflation pressures mount, some investors may wonder if the tech rally can continue or if it is time to invest their profits in other sectors. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the key trends and factors that will shape the tech sector in the second half of 2023, and highlight some of the best tech stocks to buy or watch.
One of the most dominant tech trends in 2023 is the widespread use of artificial intelligence (AI) in various applications and domains. AI is not only powering innovative products and services, but also augmenting and automating business processes, enhancing customer experiences, and improving decision-making. According to a report by McKinsey, AI could add up to $13 trillion to global GDP by 2030, and companies that adopt AI could see their cash flow increase by 25% on average by 2030.
Some of the best tech stocks that are leveraging AI to create value and competitive advantages include Nvidia, Salesforce, and CRM.
NVIDIA (NVDA) is the leading manufacturer of graphics processing units (GPUs) that are essential for AI computing. NVIDIA has been expanding its presence in various AI markets, such as data centers, cloud gaming, autonomous vehicles, healthcare, and edge computing. The company also offers a comprehensive AI software platform called NVIDIA AI Enterprise, which enables enterprises to deploy and manage AI applications on any certified server. NVIDIA has been the best-performing tech stock in 2023 so far, with a staggering 315% increase since October 2022.
Salesforce (CRM) is a leading provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software that helps businesses manage their sales, marketing, service, and e-commerce activities. The company has been investing heavily in AI to enhance its CRM platform with features such as Einstein, which provides predictive analytics, natural language processing, computer vision, and chatbots. The tech company also acquired Slack, a popular workplace collaboration tool that uses AI to improve productivity and communication. Salesforce has been one of the top-performing tech stocks in 2023, with a 69.7% return as of July 31.
Stitch Fix (SFIX) is an online personal styling service that uses AI to curate and deliver customized outfits for its clients based on their preferences, sizes, and feedback. The company uses a combination of human stylists and algorithms to create personalized recommendations and optimize inventory management. The tech stock has been appreciating rapidly in the past year, as more consumers shifted to online shopping and sought the convenience and personalization of AI. Stitch Fix had posted a 52.4% return as of July 31.
Another major tech trend in 2023 is the emergence of the metaverse, which is a term used to describe a more immersive and persistent internet where people can work, play, and socialize on a shared platform. The metaverse is expected to create new opportunities for entertainment, education, commerce, and social interaction, as well as new challenges for privacy, security, and regulation. According to a McKinsey report, the metaverse could add $5 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
Meta Platforms (META), the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Oculus, and other social media and virtual reality platforms, has been one of the most vocal proponents of the metaverse vision and has announced its intention to transform itself into a metaverse company.8 Meta Platforms plans to invest billions of dollars in building an open and interoperable metaverse platform that will enable users to create and access immersive content across devices. Meta Platforms has been one of the best-performing tech stocks in 2023, with a 76.1% return as of July 31. The momentum is expected to continue for the remainder of this year.
Roblox is often considered one of the closest examples of a metaverse today, as it hosts millions of user-generated games that span various genres and themes. The company also enables users to socialize, chat, learn, and earn virtual currency within its platform. The tech stock has been growing rapidly in popularity and revenue, especially among younger audiences, and has provided a 43.6% return as of July 31 – a positive trend that is expected to continue for the second half of 2023.
A third tech trend in 2023 is the increasing adoption of green technologies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Green technologies include renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, as well as clean energy solutions, such as hydrogen, biofuels, and nuclear fusion.
Green technologies also encompass energy efficiency measures, such as smart grids, smart buildings, and electric vehicles. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, global renewable energy capacity is expected to increase by 50% between 2020 and 2025, while global hydrogen production is expected to grow by 30% between 2020 and 2030.
Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) is a private company that is developing a compact fusion reactor that aims to produce clean and abundant energy. Fusion is the process of fusing atoms to release energy, which is the same process that powers the sun and stars. It has the potential to provide virtually unlimited energy with no greenhouse gas emissions or radioactive waste.
CFS is backed by several investors, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund led by Bill Gates that supports clean energy startups. CFS plans to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Spring Valley Acquisition Corp (SV) in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The tech sector is expected to remain one of the most dynamic and exciting sectors in the stock market in the second half of 2023, as it continues to drive innovation and transformation across industries and society.
The tech trends discussed above are not exhaustive, but they represent some of the most important themes that investors should be aware of and follow closely. While tech stocks may face some headwinds from inflation, interest rates, regulation, and competition, they also offer significant growth potential and long-term value for those who can identify and invest in the winners.