The closely-watched Dow Jones industrial average soared to a new all-time high in the opening minutes of trading on Wall Street on Tuesday morning, rising nearly 100 points to 14,222 minutes after the opening bell. The market kept climbing through the morning, hitting 14,250 by 10:15 a.m.
The market had been flirting with the record for weeks but broke through even as Washington was dealing with the latest budgetary stalemate, Europe was dealing with a slew of economic and currency woes, and growth was basically flat for the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The all-time peak for the Dow index of 30 top stocks of 14,198.10 was set during trading on Oct. 11, 2007. The highest closing price for the Dow of 14,164.14 was set two days earlier on Oct. 7. A year later, the U.S. and global economies were facing a financial meltdown that triggered the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The Wall Street rally “is something that’s been building for months and months,” Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, told the Agence France-Presse news service. “It’s always significant, particularly significant because this economic cycle has been so challenging.”
The broader S&P 550 index and the tech-heavy NASDAQ indexes were also both up strongly in early trading Tuesday, with the S&P also flirting with its all-time high.
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