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Tech Busts, Two: 2008 Worse For Blue Chips Than 2000

The prevailing theory is that this time the bubble that burst was that in the housing market. But the wreckage in the last three months has been just as bad in tech as when the dotcom bubble burst eight years ago.

The prevailing theory is that this time the bubble that burst was that in the housing market. But the wreckage in the last three months has been just as bad in tech as when the dotcom bubble burst eight years ago. Or worse, for blue chip tech stocks.

Let's go to the numbers.

Last time around, the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index lost 25.7% of its value over the 90 days after its peak on March 10, 2000. This time around, the NASDAQ Composite Index has lost 25.5% of its value, in the 90 days that ended Friday.

 

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So the carnage is the same, overall. But last time around, it was Internet startups that took the biggest hits. Investors started to run away from dotcoms that had only ideas, not profits or 1,800 year price-to-earnings multiples.

Some blue chips, like Oracle, HP and Intel, actually gained ground, as the tech-led swoon went through its early throes.

This time around, the blue chips, across the board, have lost ground. Ten of ten tracked here, with Intel taking a 27.8% hit and Dell losing half its value.

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Can it get worse?

For sure. In the last go-round, the first 25 percent drop was only the beginning. The adjusted closing price of the NASDAQ Composite Index went as far down as 1,423.19, more than a year later on Sept. 21, 2001.

That works out to 72.2 percent off the peak of 5,123.52 on March 10, the prior year.