Dot-com Bubble Reaches Peak

Over 1999 and early 2000, the Federal Reserve had increased interest rates six times, and the economy was beginning to lose speed.

The dot-com bubble burst, numerically, on March 10, 2000, when the technology heavy NASDAQ Composite index peaked at 5,048.62 (intra-day peak 5,132.52), more than double its value just a year before. The NASDAQ fell slightly after that, but this was attributed to correction by most market analysts; the actual reversal and subsequent bear market may have been triggered by the adverse findings of fact in the United States v. Microsoft case which was being heard in federal court. The findings, which declared Microsoft a monopoly, were widely expected in the weeks before their release on April 3.

By some estimates, the number of folks who have quit their job to trade full time at day-trading firms is about 5,000--a relative pittance. But add in those who trade online at home or between meetings at the office, and you may have as many as 5 million. Technology makes it possible; the bull market makes it irresistible.