Tech stock ‘meltup’ puts Nasdaq-100 on verge of exiting bear market

A technology stock “meltup” put the Nasdaq-100 index on the verge of exiting bear-market territory Thursday. The NDX index, +3.03%, heavily weighted toward megacap names, was up 2.9% at 12,727 Thursday afternoon, and traded as high as 12,880.98. A close at or above 12,815.21 would mark a rise of 20% from its Oct. 17 low close of 10,692.06, meeting widely used criteria for exiting a bear market. The broader Nasdaq Composite COMP, +2.71% was up 2.2% near 12,083. It would exit a bear market with a finish at or above 12,255.95. Tech- and other growth-oriented stocks were crushed in 2022 as the Federal Reserve aggressively jacked up interest rates in an effort to quell inflation. They’ve rebounded sharply in the new year. The Fed delivered a widely expected quarter-point rate hike on Wednesday, but stocks turned higher after remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell failed to convince investors that the central bank won’t cut rates before year-end. Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. META, +23.42% led the surge Thursday after reporting stronger-than-expected results along with a major share buyback announcement. Earnings from Apple Inc. AAPL, +3.00%, Inc. AMZN, +6.77% and Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOG, +6.87% GOOGL, +7.11% were due after the closing bell. See: Apple, Amazon and Alphabet earnings are coming. Here’s what the stock options market is bracing for. Louis Navellier, founder of money management firm Navellier & Associates, called the rally a “classic market meltup,” a term used to describe a sudden surge in an asset’s price often associated with herd-like behavior by investors. Navellier, in a note, said “the fear of missing out is likely to bring in an increasing amount of the huge amount of cash on the sidelines into the fray.” Stock Market Live: When ‘don’t fight the Fed’ becomes ‘don’t fight the market’ Meanwhile, investors have been wary of declaring a bull market when the Nasdaq meets the threshold, given a history of head fakes that has seen it quickly slide back into a bear market after completing an exit. Indeed, the Nasdaq exited a bear market last August, only to slump to new lows for 2022 in October. The tech rally, meanwhile, was leaving the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.32% behind, with the blue-chip gauge down 172 points, or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 SPX, +1.16% rose 1%.

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