Nasdaq Closes Above 5,000 For First Time in 15 Years

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The last time the tech-laden Nasdaq stock closed above 5,000, Bill Clinton occupied the White House, America Online had agreed to buy Time Warner for $165 billion and beloved "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Schulz had died in his sleep.

The index closed slightly above that level on Monday, unofficially ending Monday at 5,008.10, up 44.57 or nearly 1 percent, as investors celebrated an interest rate cut in China and upbeat economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 also advanced.

The Nasdaq Composite last hit 5,000 during the tech bubble peak in March 2000. The index tumbled in the months following to land at 1,108.49 in October 2002. The Nasdaq has only closed above 5,000 twice, once on March 9, 2000, and once on March 10, 2000. Lest the milestone Monday be over-celebrated, the index would have to hit near the 7,000 level on an inflation-adjusted basis to match its 2000 high.

The government reported Monday that consumer spending dipped slightly in January, but there was better news elsewhere in the report. Overall income edged up and consumer spending actually rose when adjusted for inflation, reflecting a slide in gas prices during the month. That could turn out to be a good sign for economic growth, as people have more money left over after filling up their gas tanks.

Overseas, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) cut benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points to 5.35 percent on Saturday as deteriorating economic conditions forced the central bank to shorten the time gap between policy moves.

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-- NBC News staff, CNBC and Reuters

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