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The Nasdaq is back but different

The Nasdaq Stock Market that broke new ground Thursday is not the same stock index it was 15 years ago during the dot-com bubble. Many of the companies that dominated the composite index then aren’t even around now.

NEW YORK – Fifteen years, one month and 13 days.

That’s how long it took the Nasdaq composite index to close above the record it set at the apex of the dot-com bubble.

The Nasdaq rose 20.89 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,056.06, above the record of 5,048.62 it set March 10, 2000. In many ways, the crossing of that threshold is purely ceremonial and psychological.

The index, while still weighted with technology and Internet companies, has not been defined by the like of Pets.com, Geocities or WebVan for a decade and a half.

Apple, a company that was teetering on the edge in 2000, is now the biggest publicly traded company on the planet and makes up 9.7 percent of the Nasdaq. Google, which didn’t exist as a public company in 2000, now makes up 2.4 percent of the index.

And the Standard & Poor’s 500, which most fund managers use as a benchmark for the overall stock market, recovered from its dot-com peak in 2007.

“It’s a major psychological barrier, but in the end, it’s just a number,” said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors.

The Nasdaq’s advance was part of a broader move higher by the stock market on Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20.42 points, 0.1 percent, to 18,058.69. The S&P 500 rose 4.97 points, or 0.2 percent, 2,112.93. The S&P 500 is about four points below the record high it set March 2.

The Nasdaq’s close was a side attraction for many professional investors, who have been focused on companies that have been reporting their quarterly earnings and how the strong U.S. dollar has been having a negative impact on U.S. companies that rely a lot on overseas sales.

3M, General Motors, Procter & Gamble and Caterpillar all reported their earnings on Thursday and all said the strong U.S. dollar hurt them.

P&G, which makes Tide detergent and Gillette razors, said its profits were down roughly 7 percent and sales were down 8 percent from a year earlier. The company blamed a strong U.S. dollar, which makes its products more expensive when sold abroad. P&G fell $1.48, or 2 percent, to $80.95.

Another consumer products company, 3M, also reported lower profits due to the dollar. The maker of Post-Its and Scotch Tape fell $5.01, or 3 per

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