On Tuesday, March 13, 2012, the NASDAQ Composite Index closed above the 3000 level for the first time since December 2000. Conversely, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 218 points and closed at 13,177, its highest level since June 2008.

The early 2000s were of course the middle of the dot-com boom, a boon for NASDAQ’s technology laden market. They had reached 5000 points before the dot-com bubble burst, as many internet companies could not meet their own lofty projections.  The biggest example was AOL/Time-Warner, a company that lost over half of its value after being the number one internet service provider.

Market researchers say this 3000 level is much more trustworthy than eleven years ago, as the internet companies that have survived are stable and profitable.

Retailers saw rises in sales over the past five months, with the pace increasing in February. That goes against conventional wisdom, which sees a peak in December followed by a waning in the January to February time period. Car dealers, clothing retailers and of course gas stations all saw increases in consumer spending. A poll on small business outlook rose to the highest level since December 2007. 



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