Nasdaq Composite briefly trades above its record close as Nvidia fuels broad stock rally

A Nvidia-led rally helped push the Nasdaq Composite toward rarefied territory on Thursday, with the tech-heavy index briefly trading above its record-high close set 27 months ago.

The Nasdaq Composite
comprised of most of the stocks that trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange and one of the world’s most closely followed benchmarks, finished at 16,041.62 — its second-highest close in history and just shy of the record 16,057.44, set on Nov. 19, 2021. The index briefly traded as high as 16,061.82 during the session.

The Nasdaq’s failure to end at a new high extended its drought to 565 trading days without a record close, according to Dow Jones Market Data. That’s the longest such stretch since a run of 3,801 trading days from March 2000 to April 2015, following the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

The Nasdaq Composite’s all-time intraday high was set on Nov. 22, 2021, at 16,212.23.

The other two major U.S. stock indexes — the large-cap benchmark S&P 500
and blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average
— both ended at record highs Thursday. The Dow has notched 13 record finishes so far in 2024, while the S&P 500 has seen 12.

Nvidia Corp.
shares surged more than 16% after reporting blowout earnings results late Wednesday that exceeded an already-high bar for the maker of artificial-intelligence semiconductors. Nvidia shares have rallied nearly 60% so far in 2024 and are up roughly 275% over the last 12 months, contributing to a rally led by a handful of megacap technology stocks seen as likely to benefit most from AI advances.

See: Stock surge could add $200 billion to Nvidia market cap with ‘mammoth growth’ on tap

The Nvidia results invigorated a rally for tech shares around the world, helping to lift Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average
to its first record close since 1989.

A close in record territory would largely put to rest any lingering doubts about the return of a bull market for the Nasdaq Composite.

The Nasdaq’s long drought after the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000 left many investors particularly wary of declaring a return of the bull market after the index’s most recent slide. After all, the Nasdaq saw three rallies of 40% or more over the course of the bear market that followed the dot-com bust, with none marking the beginning of a lasting bull, analysts at Baird Private Wealth Management had noted previously.

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