NEW YORK (AP) — The last time the Nasdaq was this high, Bill Clinton was president, your Internet connection was probably still dial-up and the iPod, iPhone and iPad didn’t exist.
Fifteen years later the Nasdaq has again closed above 5,000 and is close to topping its record from the dot-com boom. The index has clawed back, riding a six-year bull market, and is now 40 points from its all-time closing high of 5,048.62 reached March 10, 2000.
But this isn’t the Nasdaq of Pets.com and Webvan, when companies were valued on “cash burn rates” and “eyeballs.”
“Certainly, the Nasdaq at 5,000 conjures up images of a tech bubble,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. “But we’ve had time for business profits to grow into those crazy expectations 15 years ago.”
As the tech-mania took hold, investors pushed up the prices of all kinds of internet-related stocks. Some were never profitable and disappeared. Others, like Priceline.com and Amazon, have survived and prospered.
On Monday, the index climbed 44.57 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,008.10. The index is up 5.7 percent this year, the best performance among major U.S. stock indexes. One caveat: taking the effect of inflation into account, the index would have to rise much further to match its highs from the dot-com era.
The Nasdaq, while still focused on technology companies, is a little more diversified than it was back then. And while the index, which tracks 2,500-plus stocks, has been steadily climbing since 2011, its ascent isn’t the crazed surge that preceded its last record close.