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Nasdaq gains for eighth straight day, nearing dot-com high

1 year 9 months 1 week ago February 20, 2015 Feb 20, 2015 Friday, February 20 2015 February 20, 2015 2:24 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Steve Rothwell

NEW YORK - The Nasdaq composite rose for an eighth straight day Friday, pushing the index closer to its all-time closing high.

The index climbed with the overall stock market after Greece and its creditors in the eurozone reached an agreement on the country's request to extend its bailout. The news was seen as positive by investors because it reduces the risk of Greece leaving the euro, a move that has the potential to send shockwaves throughout global financial markets.

After gaining nearly 7 percent in February, the Nasdaq is now less than 2 percent from its record close of 5,048.62, a benchmark set during the frenzy of the dot-com era in March 2000.

On Friday, the Nasdaq added 31.27 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,955.97. Its eight-day win streak matches its longest stretch of gains since February 2014.

The technology-heavy index, which tracks the 2,500-plus stocks that are listed on the Nasdaq stock market, has advanced 4.6 percent this year, and is up 16 percent in the last year.

Almost half the companies in the index are technology stocks, and the Nasdaq is outperforming both the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index this year, as the technology sector is coming back in favor. The S&P 500 is up 2.5 percent since the start of 2015, and has risen 15 percent over the last year.

One stock in particular is giving the Nasdaq a lift: Apple.

The technology giant has gained 17 percent this year, pushing its market value over $750 billion. The surge means that the stock now accounts for about 10 percent of the Nasdaq's market value. That compares with its 4 percent share for the S&P 500.

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