One of the largest computer firms in the world, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), offers software, cloud computing services, and hardware. Along with software for productivity, Microsoft also produces video games and software for business solutions. The corporation has broadened the scope of its innovation efforts to include artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), mixed reality, and similar technologies.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen established Microsoft in 1975 with the goal of creating software for the Altair 8800, a pioneering sonical computer. Microsoft then introduced its now-ubiquitous Windows software in 1985. In an initial public offering (IPO) that some commentators dubbed the deal of the year in 1986, the business raised $61 million. The IPO for Microsoft was held on March 13, 1986. Microsoft had risen to prominence as the top PC software provider by the late 1980s.
Recently, the technology sector has underperformed the market as investors seem to be looking for firms that are more likely to thrive in an environment where interest rates are rising. The industry looks to be in a correction phase, and Microsoft stock has dropped more than 13% in the last month.
In an economy with rising interest rates, the technology sector is viewed as a riskier investment since businesses in this area frequently have high debt loads, which become more expensive to maintain as rates climb. Due to the speculative growth model that many technology companies follow, customers may spend less in this industry if these essential commodities have a high barrier to entry.
Typically, during periods of rising inflation, the weakest performing stocks technology (XLK) and consumer discretionary (XLY) underperform. Owing to their high levels of debt, technology stocks might be negatively impacted by rising interest rates, whilst consumer discretionary can experience losses due to the belief that as consumers choose needs over wants, their purchasing power would decline. Trades and investments in this industry may be predicting the next phase of the economic cycle.
Even if Microsoft's share price has lately broken out to the negative, it looks that option traders are preparing for potential declines in the share price. Recent trading volumes just marginally supported options over puts, and there are 1.2 million more calls than puts in the open interest. Although these open interest levels initially seem optimistic, deeper study reveals more information.