A rising tide lifts all boats, the saying goes, but as the Nasdaq heads toward a new record, more than just one tide is lifting the index and that's a good thing, investors said. Nearly 15 years after reaching a peak, the Nasdaq may finally join the rest of the market in record territory. The index settled Monday at 4,961, or less than 2 percent from its record close of 5,049 set back in March 2000. While still tech-heavy, the makeup of the Nasdaq is much different today than it was during the dot-com bubble. In fact, according to index data through 2014, there are more financial and health-care companies combined on the composite than there are tech outfits. As far as weighting by market value, tech accounted for 65 percent of the Nasdaq 15 years ago. In contrast, tech is now 43 percent of the index. Similarly, telecom, which used to account for 12 percent of the weightings, now has a representation of less than 1 percent. "The shift in weighting signifies a much healthier and broader rally," said Carter Worth, chief market technician at Sterne Agee. He expects the Nasdaq to face some resistance around the all-time high, which is typical at significant milestones, but then eventually break through it. Read More Wall Street's 5 burning reasons to buy Apple Stocks are also fairly valued at this record, according to Wall Street sentiment. In March of 2000, the Nasdaq traded at more than 100 times earnings, compared to a multiple of 21 today. Back then, companies like Cisco, Oracle, Qualcomm and Yahoo traded at over 100 times earnings. "Valuations are nowhere near where they were in 2000," said Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors, an independent asset management company. "What's driving the index is the underlying earnings, which continue to go up or improve." The money play: Based on his analysis, Johnson thinks companies like Cisco , Apple and Intel have plenty of upside potential. Within tech, he suggests also looking at small- and mid-cap stocks as an area of opportunity. Worth likes Cisco and Apple as well. Biogen and Facebook have favorable setups too. Also different this time is the fact that Nasdaq's gains have come with a remarkable lack of volatility. Since the end of December 2012, the composite has posted a rise each quarter. That nine-quarter winning streak is a record. A large part of those gains have been backed by the world's largest company, Apple. With a market value of more than $730 billion, the company makes up 15 percent of the index weighting versus just 1 percent back in 2000. Indeed, Apple was not even part of the top 10 largest companies in 2000. Only Microsoft , Intel and Cisco remain among the biggest companies in the index now and then. Since the market bottom in 2009, the Nasdaq has posted a return of 290 percent while the S & P is up 211 percent. Shocking returns that beg the question, are we in another tech bubble? With these modest price-earnings ratios, "I can't put the label of speculation on tech, or even health care at these levels," adds Johnson.
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A rising tide lifts all boats, the saying goes, but as the Nasdaq heads toward a new record, more than just one tide is lifting the index and that's a good thing, investors said.