Dow Jones Closes Above 15,000

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 on Tuesday for the first time in history. At the close, the blue-chip index stood at 15,056.20.

The stock market’s new peak came just three months after the Dow hit 14,000 for the first time since the financial crisis hit. The previous high was recorded in October 2007. The financial crisis cut the market’s value in half.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-index also reached a record for the fourth straight day by gaining 8.46 points, or 0.5 percent. That market closed unofficially at 1,625.96.

Meanwhile, the more technology-heavy NASDAQ closed at a gain of about 0.1 percent after a decline in Apple shares weighed heavily. Shares of Netflis and First Solar also closed down.

Andres Garcia-Amaya, global market strategist with J.P. Morgan Funds in New York, explained the records by saying:

“The payroll report indicated that things are better than we were thinking in terms of growth, so until the market finds proof otherwise against the recovery, stocks will continue to move generally higher.”

The new Dow Jones record serves to highlight investors’ belief that the US economy is on track to a full recovery from the economic collapse triggered by the housing market. The 15,000 close marks the first major threshold passed by the Dow that goes beyond pre-recession levels.

The average hit 14,000 in 2007, but it quickly reversed its upward trends as the US was hit by its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. By late 2008, the average stood at just 7,500 — its lowest point since June of 1997. The stock market received its latest push because of an unexpectedly strong unemployment report, as well as strong corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones’ new record was helped along by Caterpillar, a Peoria, Illinois-based construction and mining equipment maker. The company was Tuesday’s biggest gainer for the Dow, adding about 2.5 percent. Other major Dow stocks include McDonald’s Corp. and Boeing Co.

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