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Nasdaq closes at highest level in history, tops record set 15 years ago

By Doug G. Ware
Nasdaq closes at highest level in history, tops record set 15 years ago
The Nasdaq reached a new record high of 5,132.95 at the close of trading on Thursday, June 18, 2015, topping a record that stood for 15 years. File Photo: John Angelillo / UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, June 18 (UPI) -- Heading into Thursday, the highest level the Nasdaq had ever reached was 5,132.52 -- a mark set in March 2000. At the close of trading, the composite was nearly a half-point higher -- and good for a new all-time record.

The tech index performed well throughout Thursday, after the Federal Reserve's dovish statement about interest rates Wednesday boosted investor sentiment, CNBC reported -- and closed at a new high of 5,132.95.

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Part of the reason for Thursday's growth is "confidence the Fed is not going to be moving aggressively," Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth, said.

Though the Nasdaq composite set a new record high, the Nasdaq 100 index remains about six percent off its all-time mark, also set in March 2000.

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Another contributing factor in Thursday's trading was the latest development in Greece's negotiations with creditors on a loan to avoid defaulting on Athens' loan obligations. Both sides failed once again to reach an agreement that would allow Greece to make a scheduled €1.6 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund.

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The Fed said Wednesday the U.S. economy was probably strong enough to withstand an interest rate hike this year, but declined to raise benchmark rates for the time being.

"People were concerned if the Fed would be more hawkish. That shift did not occur and that gave relief," Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital, said.

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It has been a long road back for the tech-driven Nasdaq, analysts have noted.

The composite thrived during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s but plunged in late 2000s when the so-called "tech bubble" burst. It took years for the index to rebound, only to plunge yet again during the financial crisis of 2008-09.

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