The stock markets in the United States rallied today driven by corporate profits, which have grown almost 200% over the past six years as noted by Bloomberg.

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Today, the NASDAQ closed 5,008.10 points, the first time for the index to reach more than 5,000 in 15 years. On March 10, 2000, the index reached an all-time high of 5,048.62 points.

Apple contributed in the latest growth of the NASDAQ as the tech giant recorded a 70% in stock price over the past nine quarters.

Commenting on the performance of the NASDAQ, Michael Strauss, chief investment strategist and chief economist at Commonfund Group said, “The difference between Nasdaq today and Nasdaq 15 years ago is many of the strongest companies in Nasdaq have had good earnings and are not at stretched valuations.”

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Strauss added, “You don’t have the story stock frenzy of 1999, 2000. Stocks are much more rationally priced for many sectors.”

On the other hand, Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverforf Trust Co. opined that “greed became so pervasive” in early 2000. The situation turned into a fear. According to him, at the time, people had a fear that they would not become a millionaire like all of their neighbors. He also commented that currently the market is “not moving into a stage of euphoria by any measure.”

Meanwhile, National Securities Market Strategist Donald Silkin said, We’re going to keep going — technology has had very good earnings and the multiples are reasonable.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 18,288.24 (+0.86%)
  • S&P 500- 2,117.35 (+0.61%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,008.10 (+0.90%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,241.98 (+0.90%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,591.09 (-0.22%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,940.64 (-0.09%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,410.36 (+0.08%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 18,826.88 (+0.15%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,887.44 (+0.26%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,601.27 (+0.80%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of TRACON Pharmaceuticals surged more than 29% to $17.42 per share. The company is the best performer listed on NASDAQ today. Last Saturday, the company announced positive results on its Phase1B clinical trial for TRC105 in combination with Inlyta (axitinib) in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The shares of NXP Semiconductors rose more than 17% to $99.56 per share. The company announced its acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor for $11.8 billion, which is considered the largest merger in the industry this year. The stock price of Freescale Semiconductor rose more than 11% to $40.36 per share.

Omeros Corporation is the second best-performing stock on NASDAQ. The stock gained more than 20% to $25.10 per share. Two equity research firms covering the stock recently issued a “Strong Buy” rating for the short-term.

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