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Stock market hits new milestone: Dow 15,000

May. 08, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average punched through another milestone Tuesday: its first close above 15,000.

The Dow rose 87.31 points to 15,056.20 points Tuesday, a gain of 0.6 percent.

It was another chapter in the market's epic ascent in 2013. Good economic reports, higher corporate profits and support from central banks have eased investors' concerns that another economic slowdown could upend the market.

Two months ago the Dow recovered the last of its losses from the financial crisis. So far this year it's up 15 percent.

Wall Street followed world markets higher Tuesday. U.S. stocks rose after companies including satellite TV provider DirecTV and watchmaker Fossil reported higher quarterly profits. Markets rose in Japan and Europe in response to good news about central bank stimulus and the German economy.

The Dow and broader Standard & Poor's 500 index are trading at record levels, driven by optimism that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover and as the Federal Reserve maintains its stimulus program. The Dow punched through 15,000 Friday after the U.S. government reported a sharp pickup in hiring last month.

"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."

Higher profits at U.S. companies have been a key driver for the stock market. More than 80 percent of companies in the S&P 500 index have reported first-quarter earnings, and profits are at a record level.

Of companies that have reported, almost 70 percent have beaten the expectations of Wall Street analysts for income, according to S&P Capital IQ data. Those analysts expect earnings to rise 5 percent for the first quarter and to keep on climbing throughout the year.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 8.46 points to 1,625.96, also a record close. The S&P's increase was equivalent to 0.5 percent. The Nasdaq rose 3.66 points to 3,396.63, or 0.1 percent.

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