Cathie Wood's flagship exchange-traded fund hit an all-time high in February of this year. Her preferred disruptive-tech chasing strategy may still be in for a lot of suffering after a year and a 53 percent fall.
After a dramatic decline last month, the ARK Innovation ETF (ticker: ARKK) has steadied off - it's practically flat in February – but the headwinds surrounding its speculative growth picks are just becoming more vital. Many businesses that thrived during the pandemic are being hammered by the economic reopening, not only because yields are rising as investors prepare for the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, which is terrible news for unprofitable businesses, but also because the economic reopening is hammering many of the businesses that thrived during the pandemic.
Roku, Teladoc, and Zoom, all winners in the work-from-home era, have had their stock prices plummet by as much as 74% in the past year.
Short bets against ARK, according to IHS Markit data, hit a fresh high of 11.4 percent of outstanding shares this week. The Tuttle Capital Short Innovation ETF (SARK), which beats the ARK, now has assets worth more than $US300 million ($416 million).
"Those equities are supported by speculation, and speculation pays less well when the Fed raises rates," said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. "Much of what's happening in the market reminds me of what happened in the late 1990s when market segments were bid up to levels based on future assumptions."
Because its price chart resembles that of the Nasdaq index of technology businesses from more than two decades ago, analogies to that period and the dot-com implosion that followed are becoming more common in discussions of ARK.
"Today marks the 253rd trading day from ARK's all-time high," Jessica Rabe, co-founder of DataTrek Research, wrote in a Tuesday note, "while the Nasdaq was down 60% from its dot-com bubble top on the same day in 2001."
"If 2000/2001 analog holds, we should see ARK continuing to fall over the following three weeks. The Nasdaq dropped 18.7% in the next 16 trading days "recent."
Net flows are positive.
The better news for investors and Ms. Wood is that there may be some immediate respite. The Nasdaq rose 41% in six weeks in 2001 before falling.
The ARK Investment Management did not respond to a request for comment.
Most of ARK's $US15 billion asset loss has been attributed to bad performance, a plus for the company. Since the fund achieved an intraday high of $US159.70 a year ago this week, investors have withdrawn only around $US465 million, and ARK's net flows this year are positive despite a more than 20% drop.
This exceptional loyalty prevents a worsening situation and allows Wood's approach to recovering. The star fund manager has consistently emphasized that her funds have a five-year investment horizon and that she believes in many good options.
Mr. Schutte, on the other hand, says the drop is understandable because several of the company's biggest bets, such as Teladoc and Zoom, are becoming less significant as COVID-19 approaches.
"During the pandemic, there were a lot of questions about what would happen to society and how we'd go about our lives," he added.
"You drew in new investors who wanted to know "what are the upcoming themes I should invest in?" I believe you got a washout of it as well."
Ark Investment Management, run by Cathie Wood, sold more Palantir Technologies Inc PLTR -6.39 percent shares on Friday, cutting its stake in the Peter Thiel-backed company.
According to Friday's closing price, the famous investment management firm sold 13.5 million shares of the big data company, valued at $148.9 million.
Palantir's stock fell 6.4 percent to $11.02 per share on Friday. The stock has lost 16% of its value in the last week.
Before Friday's trade, Ark Invest held 25.53 million shares in Palantir, suggesting that the famous stock picker had trimmed over 52 percent of its total keeping a day later.
After the business disclosed lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings before the market opened on Thursday, Ark Invest, located in St. Petersburg, California, dumped shares in Palantir for the second time.
The software firm, well-known for its work with government organizations, posted earnings of 2 cents per share, falling short of the analyst consensus of 4 cents. The company recorded quarterly revenues of $432.87 million, higher than the $417.69 million predicted by analysts.
Palantir's stock had been sold for 4.77 million shares by the investment firm the day before.
All six of Ark Invest's active exchange-traded funds own Palantir stock, including the flagship Ark Innovation ETF ARKK -4.88 percent.
Before the recent sell-off, Ark Invest had been stockpiling Palantir shares for months.
The Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK), Cathie Wood's flagship fund, is down 30% year to date and more volatile than almost any other fund on the market. On CNBC's Halftime Report, Wood jumped at the chance to defend the fund and its deflated price, which is currently $68.80, down from $155 a year ago.
"We've seen a significant decline," Wood said, adding, "We feel innovation is at bargain basement zone." Even though her ETF was underperforming, she emphasized that her companies were still "very inexpensive" and that the current fund loss was temporary. When the call's 40 free minutes were finished, Zoom gave her an extra 10 minutes to complete the interview.
Having Zoom check to see whether she was "running out of time?" Wood, who has been aggressively buying up shares in Zoom and other IT firms that have fallen from their pandemic highs, was unhappy. Zoom, like Wood's other significant tech holdings, Teladoc Health, Roku, and Roblox, is down 20% to 40% year to date as investors worry about rising interest and inflation rates.
However, a significant chunk of the interview was devoted to a personal assault on Cathie Wood, who was named the most excellent stock picker in 2020 by Bloomberg's then-Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler after correctly forecasting that Tesla will one day be valued at more than $1 trillion.
Wood bluntly ignored Tuttle Capital Management's Short Innovation ETF (SARK), which tracks the inverse performance of ARKK using swaps contracts for the sole purpose of betting against Cathie Wood's selections. "They're not conducting any research." She explained, "All they're doing is shorting innovation."
Of course, SARK is betting against Cathie Woods, not on innovation. "Well, we stand for invention," Wood responded. The SARK ETF has gained 55 percent since its debut, whereas the ARKK ETF has declined by 42 percent.
Tuttle Capital Management CEO Matthew Tuttle chimed in on the SARK ETF, calling it a "tool" for investors. According to SARK, "to convey a negative view of the market, innovative enterprises, the current rising rate environment, or a [specific] portfolio manager if they wish." "It's un-American not to have options in the marketplace," Tuttle told Insider on Thursday.
In any event, Wood is making progress. Her main concern currently is bearish calls on her ETF. "Our major concern is that our investors convert temporary losses into long-term losses," Wood continued.