By Joseph Adinolfi
'The market isn't very healthy right now,' says Gene Goldman, CIO of Cetera Financial Group
The Nasdaq Composite is now leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 18.3%, its widest margin of outperformance since 1991 as of Tuesday's close while the blue-chip gauge erases its year-to-date gain, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
After falling more than 300 points during Tuesday's session, the Dow closed in the red for the year for the first time since May 4. The stock benchmark also finished below its 50-day moving average -- a closely watched technical indicator -- for the first time since March 30.
It has been extremely rare in the past 50 years for the tech-heavy index to exceed the Dow by such a wide margin. This is the first time since the Nasdaq's launch in 1971 that the index has been up more than 17% year-to-date through May 16 during a stretch where the Dow was still stuck in the red for the year, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Back in the early 1990s, nearly all of the current Nasdaq index leaders either hadn't been founded yet, or were still relatively small by market capitalization, as was the case for Apple Inc. (AAPL), which went public back in 1980.
At the time, the Nasdaq was dominated by shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and a smattering of biotech firms, among others, according to Gene Goldman, CIO of Cetera Financial Group.
Although the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also finished Tuesday's session in the red, both of those benchmarks still sit on strong gains since the start of the year, with the S&P 500 up more than 7%, and the Nasdaq up more than 18%.
Investors have piled into a handful of megacap technology stocks, including Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) and shares associated with the "FANG+" group of stocks, Goldman said. These stocks have accounted for nearly all of the market's gains in 2023, overshadowing weakness in other corners of the stock market.
Meanwhile, small-caps, financial services stocks, energy stocks and healthcare stocks have declined since the start of the year. The Russell 2000 , a gauge of small-cap stocks, is down 1.4% since the start of 2023.
In one indication of just how concentrated the U.S. stock market has become, the 10 largest stocks in the S&P 500 accounted for 87% of the index's gains during the first quarter, Goldman said.
"The market isn't very healthy right now," he said in a phone interview with MarketWatch. Goldman blamed expectations for Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts, lower Treasury yields, recession fears and the "AI craze" for spurring interest in megacap technology names.
The Dow finished Tuesday's session down 336.46 points, or 1%, at 33,012, in part due to a selloff in shares of Home Depot Inc. (HD)after the retailer reported its quarterly earnings The Nasdaq Composite declined 22.16 points, or 0.2%, to close at 12,343.05 on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 shed 26.38 points, or 0.6%, to 4,109.90.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 17, 2023 07:54 ET (11:54 GMT)
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