Dow closes above 15,000 for first time

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NEW YORK — Just two months after recovering the last of its losses from the financial crisis, the Dow Jones industrial average charged higher Tuesday, closing above 15,000 for the first time.

It was another milestone in the market this year. Good economic reports, strong corporate earnings and fresh support from central banks have eased investors’ concerns about another economic slowdown.

Wall Street has climbed almost 15 percent since Jan. 1.

“The thing that’s been driving stocks is rising confidence,” said James Paulsen, the chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management. “Economic growth, job creation and the housing market have been better than expected.”

Wall Street followed Japanese and European markets higher after they responded to good news about central bank stimulus and the German economy. In the U.S., the market got a lift from higher quarterly profits at satellite TV company DirecTV and watchmaker Fossil.
The Dow closed at 15,056.20, up 87.31 points, or 0.6 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 8.46 points to 1,625.96, a gain of 0.5 percent. Both reached all-time highs earlier this year, then kept climbing, largely driven by optimism over the U.S. economy.

“We don’t think people are giving enough credit to the strength of the economy,” said Ryan Detrick, a senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research. “We still like the market.”

The gains piled up with the growing realization among investors that the traditional threats to a rising market – higher interest rates, falling profits, a possible recession – are unlikely anytime soon. With interest rates near record lows, they see few other places to put their money.

For the Dow, it was the 17th straight Tuesday of increases, Detrick said.

In other trading, the Nasdaq composite rose 3.66 points to 3,396.63, up 0.1 percent.

Japanese stocks surged, pushing the Nikkei above 14,000 for the first time in nearly five years. The Nikkei has jumped 36 percent this year after the Bank of Japan announced a new aggressive monetary policy to get the country out of its two-decade stagnation.

In Europe, Germany’s main DAX index touched a record of 8,195, bouyed by surprisingly strong industrial orders.

Detrick said he was particularly encouraged by the resurgence in smaller stocks, which suggested a broad recovery beyond larger companies. The Russell 2000 index of small companies has gained 14 percent this year.

In the market for U.S government bonds, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged up to 1.78 percent from 1.76 percent in late Monday trading. Optimism over the U.S. economy has yanked the yield up over the past week, as traders shift money out of the safety of the Treasury market. The yield sank to its low for the year, 1.63 percent, last Thursday.

STEPPING UP

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time Tuesday. It has been six years since the Dow closed above 14,000 for the first time.

Here’s a look at the times the Dow first closed above round-number levels, in 1,000-point increments:

15,000 May 7, 2013

14,000 July 19, 2007

13,000 April 25, 2007

12,000 Oct. 19, 2006

11,000 May 3, 1999

10,000 March 29, 1999

9,000 April 6, 1998

8,000 July 16, 1997

7,000 Feb. 13, 1997

6,000 Oct. 14, 1996

5,000 Nov. 21, 1995

4,000 Feb. 23, 1995

3,000 April 17, 1991

2,000 Jan. 8, 1987

1,000 Nov. 14, 1972

–Associated Press

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