A Special Event: Anticipating the Upcoming Nasdaq-100 Rebalance
On July 7, 2023, Nasdaq issued a notable press release, announcing an extraordinary event – a “Special” rebalance of the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) scheduled to take place on Monday, July 24, 2023. Normally, such a rebalance is a routine event occurring quarterly, with a major annual reconstitution in December. However, this mid-year, unorthodox adjustment represents an interesting departure from Nasdaq’s regular schedule, making waves among investors and sparking curiosity in the broader market.
Understanding the Rationale: Weighing the Probabilities
There could be several reasons behind this unusual move. Here are some hypotheses:
1. Driving Index Growth Without Overreliance on Megacaps: The index could be seeking to diversify its dependence on the largest market cap companies, or “megacaps.” This strategy would help maintain the upward trajectory of the index without putting undue weight on a handful of companies.
2. Preparing for Potential Megacap Downturn: Alternatively, the authorities behind the Nasdaq-100 could be anticipating a fall in megacaps and are proactively acting to prevent significant damage to the index.
3. Establishing Balance and Encouraging Churn: The move may also be aimed at achieving more balance in the index. This could lead to a churn, or sideways price movement, as the portfolio components are adjusted.
It would be interesting to see if other major indices like the S&P 500 (SPX), which also has considerable megacap weightage, follow suit in the coming days.
The Effect on Tickers: Winners and Losers
The repercussions of this rebalance will likely be reflected in the short-term performance of the affected tickers. Companies that see a net-positive change in their respective weightings may experience immediate gains, while those with a net-negative change might witness declines or a slower growth rate.
Expecting a Surge in Volume
Investors can anticipate heightened trading activity on July 24, comparable to the unusual volume experienced during the Russell rebalance on June 23. These shifts often cause spikes in trading volumes as index-tracking funds adjust their holdings to align with the new index weights.
A Look Back: Apple and Microsoft Weightings
It is important to remember that not too long ago, the Nasdaq-100 Index was rebalanced to give two tech giants – Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) – an even larger weighting, totalling about 25%.
The Nasdaq-100 Index: A Brief Overview
Comprising 100 of the largest domestic and international non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq, the Nasdaq-100 Index serves as a critical benchmark for a host of financial products worldwide. These range from ETFs, mutual funds, futures, to options.
The special rebalance will occur based on the index securities and shares outstanding as of July 3, 2023. The formal announcements and pro-forma file release are scheduled for July 14, 2023. Notably, this rebalance will not lead to any additions or removals of securities.
Nasdaq: A Leading Global Technology Company
Nasdaq, the firm behind the Nasdaq-100 Index, is a leading global technology company, catering to a diverse range of clients, including corporate entities, investment managers, banks, brokers, and exchange operators. It aims to enhance the transparency, integrity, and liquidity of the global economy through its innovative platforms. The firm offers an array of services, from data, analytics, and software to exchange capabilities.
The Final Word
While the rebalance’s precise impact is yet to unfold, the potential for major market moves makes this a highly anticipated event. As always, investors should carry out due diligence and, if necessary, seek advice from a securities professional before making investment decisions.
Remember, past performance is not indicative of future results, and no element of this article should be construed as investment advice. The upcoming rebalance will serve as a real-time case study for observing how indices manage their concentration risk and how such maneuvers affect the broader market.