After yesterday’s rather, ahem, disappointing day in the financial world, I thought I would check in on some of the nanotechnology assets to see how they have fared in the recent machinations of the markets.  Simply, the answer is: about what you would expect.

I first looked at a nanotechnology fund, the Powershares ETF Trust (NASDAQ:PNQI).  Since June, PNQI is down to 20.43 from 23.54, with a rather noticeable drop of 1.71 in September alone. 

Second, I looked at a couple of individual nanotech company stocks traded on the NASDAQ: Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (ALTI), Nanophase Technologies Corporation (NANX), and Luna Innovations (LUNA).  The results were a little surprising.

Altair has shown more volatility than anything else in the last few months.  Since a high in January of 4.78, the stock has bounced around, including a low of 1.45 in July, then peaking at 2.83 in August, before closing yesterday at an even 2.00.  It has, however, been climbing bit by bit since last week.

Nanophase has shown similar volatile short-term movement, but where Altair has moved, Nanophase has moved in the opposite direction, including a sharp 0.30 drop in the second half of yesterday.  The stock has shown a steady decline since a peak of 4.71 in November 2007, to close at 1.56 yesterday.

Luna Innovations has bounced around all of 2008, including peaks of 8.33, 8.49, and 7.67, followed by valleys of 4.78, 3.86, and closing yesterday at 4.65 (after starting the day at 5.13).

What does all of this mean?  Well, I’m not really sure (let me add my disclaimer here that none of this is meant to be financial advice, I’m merely a novice looking at randomly selected assets to see how they have performed in the short term).  In my read, nanotech stocks are not showing any immunity to the overarching movements of the markets based on the larger players.  We’re not seeing the precipitous drops that have impacted other sectors, such as the financial or housing sectors.  But, we’re also not seeing the same valuation of these stocks as other sectors given the prices they are trading at.  Keep an eye on the financial markets as that is another area that is going to impact the nanotechnology sector.  We don’t talk much about this connection between the markets and the development of nanotech, but there is a connection, just like the markets impact most, if not all, other sectors.