TechMARK tumbles below 1,000

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The Independent Online

It was the market that became the symbol of the New Economy boom. Yesterday it became yet another landmark in the New Economy bust.

It was the market that became the symbol of the New Economy boom. Yesterday it became yet another landmark in the New Economy bust. The techMARK 100, the stock market index created to chart the fortunes of the internet generation companies, collapsed though the 1,000 mark. Some market watchers were even questioning whether the market had a long-term future.

Created in November 2000 to make it easier for investors to spot fast-growing technology companies, the techMARK index hit a peak of 5,753 at the pinnacle of the dot.com boom. Companies scrambled to join it. Investors rushed to back the companies in it. Yesterday it fell 13.62 points to 990.86.

It is a decline which mirrors the collapse in fortunes at some of the young companies that were regarded as standard bearers of the New Economy revolution. TechMARK constituents include QXL, Baltimore Technologies, and Arm Holdings.

Steve Russell, an equity strategist at HSBC, said: "It's fairly typical that this sort of thing is launched almost exactly at the peak of the market. And you'd have to question the usefulness of such an index, which includes pharmaceutical companies as well. It is not really a pure enough index and I wouldn't be surprised it didn't survive."

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