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Why Nasdaq 3,000 Is 'Bigger Deal' Than Dow 13,000
01 Mar 2012 EST -
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"When we went from 3,000 to 5,000 that was just irrational exuberance. They were putting 500 multiples on Internet stocks that had no earnings," Rovelli says. "To me, the Nasdaq now is making all-time highs. You're taking out something that was irrational."

In fact, the last time the index crossed 3,000 was later that year, on Dec. 11, as tech went from market darling to problem child while the industry struggled through the designs of handheld devices that now are driving the sector higher.

"The smartphone market is just mind-boggling," Rovelli says. "This is true earnings, true momentum, with real potential for growth."

Importantly, the current cyclical bull-market rally has been pushed by non-defensive sectors like technology, which has led the Standard & Poor's 500 sectors, with financials the second-biggest gainer.

On the major indexes, the Nasdaq was up about 16 percent heading into Thursday's trading, while the S&P 500 gained 8.6 percent and the Dow rose 6.6 percent. Small-cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000, are up about 7 percent thus far in 2012 and underperformed the broader market in February.

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