The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 5, 2013

Dow surges to record ... and keeps going

— NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow has never been higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average surged passed its record high and kept going on Tuesday. It jumped from the opening bell, climbed as much as 158 points early and reached 14,286, breaking through its previous record high set in October 2007.

The Dow opened higher following a surge in markets across the globe. China's markets rose after the government said it would support ambitious growth targets. European markets jumped following a surprisingly strong rise in retail sales across the 17-country group that uses the euro. In the U.S., more hopeful news about housing kept the momentum going.

The gains represent a remarkable comeback for the stock market. The Dow has more than doubled since falling to a low of 6,547 in March 2009 following the financial crisis and the Great Recession. Stocks have rebounded sharply since then, helped by stimulus from the Federal Reserve, even as the economic recovery has been slow and steady.

"Whether they want to admit it or not, everyone is very impressed with the resilience of the market," said Alec Young, a global equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ.

The last time the Dow was this high, Apple had just sold its first iPhone and George W. Bush had another year as president. The U.S. housing market had yet to bottom, and the financial crisis that brought down Lehman Brothers was still a year away.

The recovery in stocks may even have been quicker had memories of the financial system's near-collapse not been on investors' minds, says Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners.

"It's still pretty close to the front of people's brains," says Pavlik. "That's one of the reasons that people are hesitant to invest in the stock market."

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