The Nasdaq is on the verge of ending its longest bear market since 1991

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February 13, 2019 1:15pm NASDAQ:QQQ

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From Mark Decambre: The Nasdaq Composite Index, often used as a proxy for the health of technology and internet-related stocks, on Wednesday was on the verge of ending its longest bear market, by one measure, since 1991.

A finish at or above 7,431.50 for the Nasdaq COMP, +0.17%  would mark a rise of 20% from its recent low on Dec. 24 at 6,192.92 and would mark — at least by one widely used definition– an exit from bear-market territory.

The Nasdaq on Dec. 21 closed more than 20% below its all-time high set on Aug. 21, meeting the widely accepted definition of a bear market. After continuing its fall through Christmas Eve, marking its mos recent bear-market low, the index has punched higher alongside other major benchmarks.

The Nasdaq has gained 12.1% so far in 2019, while the S&P 500 indexSPX, +0.24% has gained 10%, and the Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, +0.33% has climbed 9.5%, as of Wednesday late-morning trading action (The Dow and S&P 500 exited correction territory on Jan. 10, usually defined as a decline of at least 10% from a recent peak. The pair of indexes never fell the requisite 20% to enter bear market.)

The current bear run from its low at 35 trading days (Wednesday’s close would mark the 36th day) would be the longest such period since a 69-day stretch that ended in January 1991 (see chart below):

From entry to exit, the current bear market would be the longest bear market run since the 218 -day bear market in 2008, according to Dow Jones.

The Nasdaq’s gains have come as major tech and internet-related components, which had helped to jolt the market higher during its lengthy bull-market run, have rebounded after a slump. The so-called FAANG cohort, made up of Facebook IncFB, +0.07% IncAMZN, +0.73% Apple Inc.AAPL, -0.06% Netflix NFLX, -0.89% and Google-parent Alphabet Inc.GOOG, +0.50% GOOGL, +0.66% are decidedly higher so far this year.

Last year’s weaker performers have so far led the way, with Netflix shares up 32.4% so far in 2019 and Facebook shares gaining 26% over the same period, producing the sharpest gains among the FAANG stocks.

CORRECTION AND AMPLIFICATION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referenced the historical run for the Nasdaq Composite Index’s bear market. The current bear market is on track for its longest such period since a 218 day-trading day stretch in 2008, from entry to exit. From its bear-market low, the current 34-day stint is the longest since a 69-day stretch in 1991.

The Invesco QQQ Trust Series I (QQQ) was trading at $171.38 per share on Wednesday afternoon, up $0.49 (+0.29%). Year-to-date, QQQ has gained 10.21%, versus a 3.43% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

QQQ currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #1 of 41 ETFs in the Large Cap Growth ETFs category.

This article is brought to you courtesy of MarketWatch.

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