US stocks are proving popular with Australian retail investors, particularly the tech giants.

Stock trading platform eToro found the top 10 US stocks bought by Australians last month were all tech companies.

The US exchange is the biggest destination for Australian investors looking for overseas stocks.

The NYSE and the NADSAQ collectively form the world’s largest market and provide a broader range of opportunities than the ASX.

But while previous months in 2020 saw investors looking at several sectors as well as tech, including aviation and entertainment, it was a different story in September.

The US tech sector had a literal monopoly on the top spots.

Here’s a list of the top 10 US stocks traded by Australian investors on eToro in September:

Ranking Stock Code % Change in activity
1 Tesla TSLA 98%
2 Apple APPL 58%
3 Nio Inc. NIO -7%
4 Amazon AMZN 57%
5 Microsoft MSFT 15%
6 Nvidia NVDA 81%
7 Google GOOGL 45%
8 Facebook FB 12%
9 Zoom ZM 254%
10 Advanced Micro Devices AMD 5%

 

Tesla and Apple are the top US stocks for Aussies

Tesla was the top US stock traded by Australian investors on eToro. The electric vehicle maker had a volatile month and eToro analyst John Gilbert says some investors saw an opportunity to “buy low”.

“It’s clear that many investors saw this recent dip from Tesla as an opportunity to get their hands on this stock at an attractive price,” he said.

But Gilbert said Tesla’s Battery Day was ultimately a flop despite being heavily hyped by founder Elon Musk.

“Many of the promises made by Musk were a long way off and may require a lot of work,” he said.

Taking second spot is Apple, which like Tesla witnessed an increase in trading activity compared to the previous month.

Gilbert noted September was typically a strong month for Apple as it unveiled new product launches with the holiday season looming.

While he noted investors may have been disappointed they’ll have to wait another year for the iPhone 12, others saw this as a chance to buy.

Other household names made the list too including Zoom Video Communications. The stock traded at $US73.85 this time last year but reached $US482.99 last week as demand for its services exploded.

It hasn’t slowed down despite much of the tech sector stagnating in September. Despite being ninth on the list, activity rose by 254 per cent last month.

“We can clearly see that investors believe Zoom still has a huge part to play in the remote work space over the next few months,” Gilbert said.

 

The unexpected winners

However not all of the top 10 are household names in Australia as Tesla, Apple and Zoom are.

Taking third spot was China’s answer to Tesla — Nio Inc. It, however, lost 15 per cent of its value in September and witnessed a 7 per cent decline in trading volume.

eToro’s Gilbert blamed increased trade tensions.

“Many investors felt anxious with any stocks exposed to China or Chinese stocks listed in the US,” he said.

“As Nio Inc is a speculative stock compared to Tesla and has only been listed since 2018, many investors are more likely to be cautious about buying its stocks when it dips compared to big names like Apple and Tesla.”

Another two relatively unknown stocks on the list were chip manufacturers NVIDIA Corporation and Advanced Micro Devices.

While the former stock ended September down, trading activity by Aussie investors rose 81 per cent.

Gilbert credited NVIDIA’s impending $40bn acquisition of Chip Designer Arm Holdings from SoftBank.

“Arm creates chips that are used in phones and are set to benefit from Apple shifting its computers from Intel Chips to that of Arm’s design,” he explained.

“This could be a massive coup for NVIDIA, as it will also allow them to grow in the AI space.”