In this Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, file photo, electronic screens post prices of Alphabet stock at the Nasdaq Marketsite in New York. On Tuesday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index reached the 6,000-point mark for the first time.
The Nasdaq Composite Index, known for being a key stock-market gauge of the tech sector’s performance, reached another milestone Tuesday when it breached the 6,000-point mark for the first time in its 46-year history.
The Nasdaq, which includes Bay Area tech stalwarts Apple, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Intel, Oracle and Cisco Systems, crossed the 6,000 level shortly after stock trading began at 6:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. As trading progressed, the Nasdaq rose by 0.6 percent, or 39 points, to reach 6,022.58.
So far this year, the Nasdaq has risen 12 percent, as it and other major stock-market indices — the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 — have benefited from investors’ enthusiasm over many companies’ upbeat quarterly results.
The Nasdaq is also up by 16 percent since President Donald Trump’s election, as investors are eager for the president’s plans to announce a major reform of the nation’s tax structure.
Investors and Wall Street experts had been anticipating the Nasdaq to reach 6,000 for weeks. The gauge, which was created in 1971, had been playing second fiddle, a bit, to the Dow Jones Industrial Average when in 1995, the Nasdaq hit 1,000 points for the first time. The rise of the internet and the dot-com boom in the late 1990s turned the Nasdaq into a must-see marker of the tech sector’ s health, in particular.
After the Nasdaq made its initial conquest of the 1,000-point mark, it took three more years to reach 2,000, in July 1998. With internet stocks booming, the Nasdaq took just one-and-a-half more years to get to 4,000, and only another three months after that to hit 5,000 for the first time, in March 2000.
But then the dot-com crash dragged the Nasdaq down, and hard, as it lost almost 1,600 points in the year 2000 alone.
While approximately 3,000 stocks are included in the Nasdaq Composite, it’s the performance of a few, select companies that often drive the index’s direction.
Apple, which saw its shares rise 0.6 percent to $144.45 Tuesday, accounts for just shy of 12 percent of the Nasdaq’s makeup. Microsoft, the second-largest issue in the Nasdaq at more than 8 percent, rose 0.5 percent to $65.86. Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet, each of which make up at least 4 percent of the Nasdaq, also rose Tuesday.