Nasdaq Powers to New High

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RadarScreen® showing select indexes’ distances from their 52-week highs.

Disclaimer: This post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation.

Most big indexes are still below their highs for the year, but not the Nasdaq-100.

The technology-heavy benchmark probed 7,338.8 today, breaking its old peak of 7310 from June 10.

Technology, not surprisingly, is leading the charge. But now there’s an added catalyst of mergers.

Just look at CA Technologies (CA). The one-time boring software company is leading the Nasdaq with an 18 percent gain after getting acquired by Broadcom (AVGO). Coincidentally, the news came at the same time J.P. Morgan’s dealmaker-in-chief predicted executive teams will increasingly resort to takeovers in order to spur growth.

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While AVGO fell on the news, most other tech stocks are higher. Here are a handful of other Nasdaq members hitting new highs today:

  • NetApp (NTAP): Cloud storage / data centers
  • MasterCard (MA) and Visa (A) Key infrastructure for the digital economy.
  • Salesforce.com (CRM): A cloud-computing powerhouse.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon.com (AMZN): No introductions needed here!

Smaller software makers are also rallying, possibly on hopes of more buyouts in the future. Here are some of the bigger gainers in that space:

  • Autodesk (ADSK) and Redhat (RHT): Both were driven lower by their last quarterly reports but are up more than 3 percent today.
  • Shopify (SHOP): A provider of cloud-based e-commerce services to small businesses.
  • Splunk (SPLK): A maker of data-mining software that’s repeatedly beaten estimates and hiked guidance.
  • Okta (OKTA): Cloud-based identity management services.
  • Twilio (TWLO): Cloud-based messaging services.
  • Nutanix (NTNX): Cloud-infrastructure software.

In conclusion, tech is powering the Nasdaq to a new high. While organic growth has been the main story for most of its run, now investors seem to be looking for mergers as the next catalyst.

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David Russell is VP of Content Strategy at TradeStation. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them appraised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.