The NASDAQ Composite is coming off a strong 2013 in which the home index for star stocks such as Amazon (NasdaqGM: AMZN) and Google (NasdaqGM: AMZN), just to name a pair, gained 34.2%. The PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGS: QQQ), the NASDAQ 100 tracking ETF, was a tad better with a 2013 gain of 36.6%.
The NASDAQ Composite closed 2013 at 4,176, its best close since the first quarter of 2000. QQQ closed just under $88. It has not close at $89 or higher since late September 2000. Those statistics have led to some chatter about NASDAQ 5,000, but that means a roughly 20% (19.7% to be precise) gain is needed this year. Some think investors should not bet on that happening.
“The level I have for the NASDAQ is the 4,292 level. That’s where we bumped up and hit there back in July 2000. And, I expect that to be the target that we might get to next year,” Andrew Busch, editor and publisher of The Busch Update, told CNBC.
Trading around $88, QQQ would need to gain 33.5% to reach its all-time closing high of $117.56 set in late March 2000. That means the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft (NasdaqGM: MSFT) and Facebook (NasdaqGM: FB) will have to do some heavy lifting.
To be fair, those stocks and plenty of others did plenty of heavy lifting for QQQ last year. The ETF was able to amass an almost 37% gain with a piddly 2.2% gain from Apple (NasdaqGM: AAPL). AAPL is QQQ’s largest holding with a weight of 12.5% or 480 basis points more than the weights given to Microsoft and Google. [Tech Not Driving NASDAQ in November]
Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global, told CNBC that biotech names could continue to the upside this year, but that the group does not account for enough of the NASDAQ to drive a run to 5,000. Health care stocks account for almost 13.6% of QQQ’s weight, but of QQQ’s 14 health care stocks, just nine are pure play biotechs. [Nasdaq Evolution Could Encourage New Highs]
Additionally, counting on the NASDAQ Biotech Index for another big gain in 2014 is a tricky call to make. That is the underlying index for the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NasdaqGS: IBB). IBB has ranked among the top-10 non-leveraged sector ETFs for three consecutive years. Look back over 10 years of data, no ETF has managed to crack the top-10 in four straight years.
QQQ has $45.3 billion in assets under management, making it the fifth-largest U.S. ETF. The fund hauled in almost $3.2 billion last year, good for second among all PowerShares ETFs.