The NASDAQ Spook

Halloween might still be five months away, but the NASDAQ is getting spooked already. Last week, the NASDAQ managed to have its longest streak of losing days in almost 10 years. Investors are selling NASDAQ stocks, driving down the popular NASDAQ Composite Index.

So far this year, the NASDAQ has fallen 1.1%. The NASDAQ now trades at about the same level as it did in November of 2005. What’s happening?

Investors are getting nervous. It’s that simple. With interest rates continuing to rise, investors are getting concerned about the ability of high-tech companies to raise capital for their projects. With U.S. T-bills paying close to 5% guaranteed. weary investors have alternatives these days that didn’t exist over the past few years.

But, it’s not just the NASDAQ that’s taking it on the chin. After coming so close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average failed to meet its 2000 high over the past couple of weeks. The popular DJIA index got within a couple of hundred points of the record high it set back in early 2000, but failed to move higher. Talk about investor teasing.

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Write it down my dear reader: On January 14, 2000 the DJIA set a record high of 11,722.98. We haven’t been able to break above that record since then, even though it was set six long years ago. I believe by the DJIA coming so close to moving above its record level over the past couple of weeks, and having failed to do so, it’s a worrisome sign for investors.

Back to the NASDAQ, it’s still down 57% from the high it reached in early 2000. A big lesson for investors: When prices get unrealistic and out of whack, regression to mean always sets in. Don’t be surprised to see the same thing happen with the U.S. housing market! Yes, the NASDAQ spook could spread. And U.S. big-builder stocks could already be telling us the future in that market–it looks worse every passing day.