Remember when the Dow Jones took a whole two months to finally get over the 20K hump, and it felt like an eternity? Well, it’s taken an actual eternity for the Nasdaq Composite, which finally broke the 6,000 point barrier, 17 years after crossing its last big-round-number milestone. During that 17 years, the index also saw many of its previous milestones again from the opposite direction, bottoming out at below 1,200 after a two-and-a-half year freefall, and then bottoming out again eight years ago at just under 1,300, before beginning its long slow climb back.
Oh, you hadn’t noticed? Perhaps that’s because we didn’t even give out an “I ❤ DB” pin to the winner of a contest we didn’t bother to hold. Maybe it’s because there is no Nasdaq trading floor for people to hug on while wearing “Nasdaq 6000” trucker caps that no one bothered to make. Or perhaps it’s because it doesn’t mean quite as much as it used to, now that Comcast and Kraft Heinz are among the largest companies in the index, and WorldCom and Yahoo are not.
Once known as the benchmark that tracked young technology companies, the Nasdaq is now more diversified than it typically gets credit for. That’s one reason investors aren’t too concerned about a tech bubble as the index passed 6000 for the first time ever on Tuesday, edging further above its dot-com bubble peak….
The index has diversified into other sectors, particularly consumer companies. Even in the last few years, the change has been noticeable. Consumer goods, which made up 3.2% of the index at the end of 2011 made up 5.3% at the end of March. And consumer services accounted for 21% at the end of last month, up from 18% at the end of 2011.