Why is the Nasdaq Index Up So Much This Year?

by: TraderMark

The NASDAQ is really outperforming lately (substantial outperformance vs other indexes in the past 4 and 13 week period). And based on this quick look, the index should have a huge day on Monday. Why? Microsoft is 7.5% of the weight of the index.

When you drill down to the index you see it actually looks like a top heavy mutual fund. Twenty percent of its holdings are in the top 5 positions, and 29% are in the top 10.

Here are the top 15 holdings which make up just over 1/3rd of the index. Why top 15? Because #14 and #15 have had amazing years.

Stock with associated year to date return (weight found in parenthesis)

  1. Microsoft +5.7% (7.5)
  2. Cisco +14.4% (4.1)
  3. Intel +30.4% (3.2)
  4. Google +46.8% (2.9)
  5. Apple +119.1% (2.6)
  6. Oracle +23.6% (2.5)
  7. Qualcomm +10.0% (1.8)
  8. Amgen -14.9% (1.6)
  9. Dell +13.6% (1.5)
  10. Comcast -15.5 (1.4)
  11. Ebay +19.1 (1.1)
  12. Yahoo +20.1 (1.0)
  13. Gilead Sciences +35.4 (1.0)
  14. Research in Motion +190.9 (0.8)
  15. Amazon.com +124.9 (0.7)
It's starting to feel a lot like '99 around here with big cap tech taking the lead. Strike that, these returns would of been average in '99, ok it's starting to feel a lot like'98 around here.

Of these 15 the only stocks I've been partaking in are smallish positions in Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) - the one I really missed was Research in Motion (RIMM) - Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has and continues to be too rich for my blood for what it offers.

If you are curious how the holdings of the Nasdaq Composite compares to the very popular QQQ, click here. Based on afterhours trading in Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) both should have quite a day tomorrow.


Long Apple, Google in fund; no personal positions