The ghost of the dot-com bubble

Good morning.

Are we in a tech stock market bubble? I’m amazed to be asking that question, given we are still in the grips of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression. But tech stocks have risen so far and fast in the past year, despite a brief recession-related dip, that parallels to the 2000s are hard to escape. The top dozen tech stocks have risen 170% on average in the past year, versus 146% in the year before the 2000 crash. And the top ten tech stocks comprise an outsized 29% of the S&P 500 today, compared to an outsized 23% in 2000.

But Fortune’s Shawn Tully says there is one key difference in today’s market compared to the dot com bubble. And I’m not going to tell you what it is. Instead, you can read Shawn’s story here. (And maybe this will be the moment when you finally subscribe to Fortune, so you can always have access to such valuable content!)

Of course, one thing driving today’s tech stock performance is the massive move to digital driven by the pandemic. Hardly a day passes when I don’t hear another mind-blowing story about this quantum shift. Yesterday’s came from Hanzade Dogan-Boyner, who is founder and chairperson of the Turkish ecommerce platform Hepsiburada. “In mid-March, we suddenly saw a level of growth that we thought we would reach in three years,” she told me. “We have tripled, and it is here to stay. We have reached a new plateau. Today, we are doing as much business as we did in May.”

Dogan-Boyner said the company realized during the pandemic that “we had become more than an ecommerce platform. We had become a lifeline.” And it implemented some unusual policies for its users, such as “removing our commissions from all of our fashion merchants” because their business had been hurt the most.

Hear that, Amazon?

More news below.

Alan Murray

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