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Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. tech stocks continue rising even as the broader market falls, furthering the divide between the economically driven Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Why it matters: As earnings continue to be written down and the Nasdaq's value continues to rise, it has pushed the index to a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 34.2, well above its historical average, according to FactSet.

What's happening: "The Nasdaq 100 has beaten the S&P 500 for seven straight days, five straight weeks, 10 straight months," Bloomberg's Vildana Hajric, Sarah Ponczek and Lu Wang write.

  • "While that’s manna for bulls who own market proxies, it is also — at best — a mixed economic signal. As stirring as the rally has been, the whole thing can also be read as proof investors see the pandemic lockdown hanging around."
  • "Every time an automated, algorithmic Fang stock rallies, the theory goes, hopes for a speedy recovery in employment and consumer spending take a hit."

Between the lines: The outperformance has investors starting to sound the alarm about a bubble in the market, and particularly in tech stocks, similar to the one that formed before the dot-com crash in 2000.

What we're hearing: The bubbling IPO market in 2020 also is starting to look familiar.

  • "You see similar levels of companies with no earnings, so basically speculative investments, coming to the IPO market as we had in 1999–2000," Savita Subramanian, head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy at Bank of America, said during a recent presentation.
  • "This is another warning sign that we’ve seen."

Go deeper

Big Tech's share of the S&P 500 reached record level in August

Expand chart
Reproduced from The Leuthold Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

The gap between the weighting of the five largest companies in the S&P 500 and the 300 smallest rose to the highest ever at the end of August, according to data from the Leuthold Group.

Why it matters: The concentration of wealth in a few massive U.S. tech companies has reached a scale significantly greater than it was before the dot-com bubble burst.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."