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- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
Dow soars to a 2½-year high
Carmakers show vigor in recovery
NEW YORK | The Dow Jones industrial average Tuesday closed above 12,000 for the first time in 2½ years — yet another sign that the economy is extending its recovery from the recession.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow, which fell to a low of 6,547 in March 2009, soared 148 points, or 1.3 percent, to 12,040.16.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 also reached a milestone Tuesday. It closed at 1,307.59, its first close above 1,300 since August 2008. The Nasdaq rose 51, or 1.9 percent, to 2,751.19.
And manufacturing had another good month in January.
The Institute of Supply Management said Tuesday that manufacturing activity expanded in January at its fastest pace in nearly seven years. Increased spending by businesses and consumers helped push the index higher, the company said.
“This is a good indicator that businesses have come out of the gate strongly in 2011,” said Burt White, chief investment officer for LPL Financial. “We are seeing businesses spend again and this is exactly what we needed to see for this economy to move forward.”
The better economic data helped push stocks broadly higher. Materials companies rose 2.4 percent, the largest gain of any group.
Also, Americans gave automakers a confidence boost in January. They bought more cars and trucks and showed a still-fragile industry that they were ready to replace their clunkers in 2011.
Sales were expected to total about 800,000 for the month. That’s still below prerecession levels of 1 million or more, but better than last January’s sales of 698,000.
Nearly all big car companies reported double-digit gains for the month, a sign that the slow recovery in U.S. auto sales that began last year remains on track. While the recovery could falter if turmoil in the Middle East pushed up gas prices or unemployment stays high, the industry was happy with what it saw last month.
“January signals a good start to the year for us, for the industry, and we think it’s a good sign for the overall U.S. economy,” said Don Johnson, vice president of U.S. sales for General Motors Co.
Car buyers were shopping for just about everything. Sales of recently redesigned SUVS such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer were strong. People also snapped up small cars such as the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- 84 percent of the world population has faith; a third are Christian
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!