For the near term, at least, April 4 is beginning to take on a heightened significance in the markets.
If not quite as monumental as March 10, 2000 -- the day the
peaked at 5048.62 -- the fourth of April is coming to be known as the day the Comp hit its near-term bottom, closing at 1638.80. Since then, the markets have put on a show, with the Nasdaq up 25.7% through Thursday's close.
A perusal of the stocks leading the charge turns up familiar faces such as
-- namely, the same tech companies whose gains in the late '90s put most of the hot air in the bubble. They were also, naturally, the same stocks that careened lower the past 12 months after the bubble burst.
If there is a pullback from the April rally, is this deja vu all over again?
"On the next leg down, these stocks will lead to the downside -- the technology bellwethers," said Stanley Nabi, managing director of
Credit Suisse Asset Management
To be sure, many of these stocks have been sliced in half since March 10, 2000. However, as the chart below indicates, a large number of these big gainers are not exactly cheap yet.
The stunning April gains racked up by several of these companies are even harder to reconcile with the spate of
downward revisions in earnings outlooks for the year. If earnings continue to slide, it gets even harder to justify the lofty valuations -- in other words, if the E side (earnings) of the P/E keeps falling and the P side (price) stays the same or goes higher, the stocks keep getting more expensive on a valuation basis.