The Nasdaq trades within 2% of a record high as the unbearable lightness of the stock market continues

After a brutal March wrecked an 11-year bull market, there seems be little doubt on Wednesday that equity markets in the U.S. are returning to bullish form after being rocked by COVID-19.

That at least applies to recent gains for the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index, which is on the brink of topping its Feb. 19 all-time closing high.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Nasdaq COMP, +0.77% was about 1.4% from its February all-time high at 9,817.18. On top of that, a bullish ‘golden cross’ has formed in the index, where the 50-day moving average rises above the longer-term 200-day line, with this relatively rare event marking the point where a shorter-term rebound morphs into a longer-term uptrend, according to chart watchers.

The Nasdaq had marked the fastest entry to a bear market, defined as a decline of at least 20% from a recent peak, on record, spanning 16 trading sessions, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Now, the Nasdaq in its 73rd day from its previous high, is on pace for its second-fastest recovery after entering a bear market since March 2009.

The average recovery for the Nasdaq Composite takes 1,018 trading sessions.

Check out: MarketWatch’s snapshot of the market

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq-100 index NDX, +0.49% QQQ, +0.45%, which tracks the biggest companies within the Nasdaq, is 0.2% off its record closing peak at 9,718.73.

From lows hit for much of the major indexes on March 23, the Nasdaq is up 41%, while the Nasdaq-100 has gained more than 38%.

See:Amid disease, riots and rising U.S.-China tensions, the stock market keeps it cool

To be sure, gains in technology have been concentrated in a handful

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