Technology sector is now central to stock market performance

When Nasdaq sneezes, world stock markets catch a cold. What began as a world share market correction based on worries about rising interest rates, soon became a series of fears about how much more technology stocks can achieve after a stellar performance in recent years. Facebook got into trouble for its business model and has spent the last few weeks apologising and seeking to amend its ways to meet its critics at least half way. There have been questions about the low tax rates paid by some of the majors, and worries about semiconductor and other component production rates for popular products.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, people continue to organise their lives using more and more technology. Advertising is moving towards a more-targeted online offer. Many think they are cheaper per potential customer contacted than traditional media. This is one of the keys to the whole success of the social media companies, offering a “free” service to users in return for sending them adverts. This business model is now under the spotlight. Apparently it is permissible to send general adverts to users of these free services, but if you get too smart about it with too much research into each individual there are issues about use of data and privacy. This starts to weaken the commercial proposition. It is that capacity to target adverts to those most likely to respond that has helped to cut the stated costs of effective advertising on line.

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