U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday, with the Nasdaq above the psychologically key level of 5,000 for the first time since March 2000 and the Dow and S&P 500 at records as investors cheered U.S. economic data and an interest rate cut in China.
"We've got economic data that continues to move things forward. I would much rather see 5,000 on improving economic data than the (conditions we had in March 2000)," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
The Nasdaq Composite last hit 5,000 during the tech bubble peak in March 2000. The index tumbled in the months following to land at 1,108.49 in October 2002.
The Nasdaq only closed above 5,000 twice before, once on March 9, 2000, and once on March 10, 2000.
"It is different this time," said Mark Spellman, portfolio manager at Alpine Funds. "Some of the companies are (reaching these levels) with earnings and cash flow."
Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average also closed at new records.
Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, pointed out that "for perspective purposes, the 5,000 figure of course is a nominal level. In order to reach its inflation-adjusted peak, the Nasdaq will have to touch about 6,900, 38 percent above 5,000. The inflation-adjusted March 2000 S&P 500 high is about 2,075, which we're of course currently about at right now."