Nasdaq 100 nears tech bubble record—time to worry?

Large tech stocks are approaching levels not seen since the tech bubble.

On Monday, the Nasdaq 100 index closed within 1.6 percent of its bubble record closing high from March 2000. The tech-heavy index includes 100 of the largest nonfinancial stocks traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market, with more than half its holdings in large-cap tech stocks.

However, some traders are predicting a pullback for the index before it can advance to new highs.

Technician Rich Ross of Evercore ISI said the chart of the Nasdaq 100 suggests up to 5 percent pullback from Monday, when it closed up slightly to 4,630.

However, "Ultimately we take out that old high," Ross said Monday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

Looking at the ETF that tracks the Nasdaq 100, QQQ, Ross said he sees the fund reaching resistance at $114, and could retest the breakout level at $107.

QQQ rose incrementally on Monday to about $113.

"Clearly technology has been leading this market higher and there was nothing in last week's blowout earnings to suggest that it won't continue to lead us higher," Ross said. "However, I think we need to go backward before we go forward."

Erin Gibbs of S&P Investment Advisory Services said the index is not at an ideal entry point for investors, given its high valuation.

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For the past two years, the Nasdaq 100 has traded in a tight range between 17.5 times to 19.5 times forward earnings, Gibbs said.

However, she said the index has exceptional growth expectations, with an average forward EPS growth rate of more than 70 percent. Because of this, Gibbs said, the index is likely to keep its winning streak in the long term.

"Longer term, I expect it to continue to go up, but when we're trading at such peak valuations it can be very vulnerable and we can easily see a short-term pullback," she said Monday.

Needless to say, even valuation levels that appear high by current standards are nowhere close to the peaks seen during the millennial bubble.

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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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