The spring of 2000 was a critical time for the tech stock market.
The tech-heavy NASDAQ peaked on March 24. You could pinpoint that as the beginning of the dot-com bust.
But what changed everybody’s minds? Why did everybody believe in tech one day, then suddenly take a closer look at all those weird balance sheets the next?
There was something else big going on in tech around that time.
On April 1, Judge Richard Posner announced that mediation talks between Microsoft and the U.S. government had broken down, and that there would not be an immediate settlement in the case. Two days later, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled that Microsoft broke antitrust law.
Between March 31 and April 3, Microsoft’s stock price dropped 14%. It never recovered.
Thanks to an earnings report that beat Wall Street’s expectations, along with steady growth in its relatively new cloud business areas, Microsoft’s stock shot up almost 8% after hours today, bringing it to $US51.89.
Split-adjusted, that’s the highest the stock has been since March 31, 2000.
Looks like new CEO Satya Nadella may finally have removed the antitrust curse once and for all…at least as far as the stock is concerned.
Here’s the stock chart from March 2000 to the present day. Note that the line ends at the end of trading today, before the after-hours gains will show up.