Nasdaq closes above 5,000 for first time in 15 years

Taxi cabs drive  past the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square
Taxi cabs drive past the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square, August 23, 2013. Stocks inched higher on Friday as trading resumed without interruption a day after the Nasdaq stock exchange suffered an unprecedented, three-hour trading halt. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTX12UKB
Photograph by Andrew Kelly — Reuters

A swift uptick in stock prices Monday morning drove the Nasdaq composite above the 5,000-point mark — a level it hadn’t crossed in almost 15 years.

The tech-heavy index, which has been rising steadily over the past month and gained nearly 45 points Monday, is currently at a level it has not seen since just before the dot-com bubble burst.

The Nasdaq gained a whopping 328 points in the month of February, which was good for a 7% improvement. That followed a down month overall for the U.S. market in January, when the Nasdaq lost almost 100 points, or 2.1%. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell by more than 3% each in January as falling oil prices and economic uncertainty in Europe weighed down the broader market in the first month of the year.

The index first closed above 5,000 on March 9, 2000 and closed above that point one more time that month before finishing at 5,008 today.

With Monday’s gains, the Nasdaq crept closer to its all-time intraday high of 5,132, a point it last reached March 27, 2000. The Nasdaq finished that day, fifteen years ago, at a record close of 5,048. After reaching those highs, though, the Internet bubble burst, leading to a steep sell-off. It has taken the Nasdaq 15 years to climb to its current level.

Of course, as is often the case with stock market milestones, returning to the 5,000-point mark after 15 years is essentially a symbolic achievement for the Nasdaq, particularly when inflation is taken into account. Still, the index has recently benefitted from huge gains experienced by major tech companies such as Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN), as shares of both companies have gained around 20% so far this year. Meanwhile, on Monday morning, shares of Nasdaq-traded companies Intel Corporation (INTC) and Google (GOOG) both saw gains of more than 2%, while shares of NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) jumped more than 17% on news of the Dutch chipmaker’s $40 billion purchase of Freescale Semiconductor.

The Dow and S&P 500, which have each hit several milestones of their own in the past month, also rode Monday’s gains to historic heights, with both indices posting record finishes. The Dow gained 0.9% to finish at 18,288 and the S&P 500 improved by 0.6% to close at 2,117.

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