Dow Jones Industrial Average Index Closed Above 13,000: What Next?

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February 29, 2012 12:07pm NYSE:DIA NYSE:SPY

Kerri Shannon:  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEArca:DIA) closed above 13000 yesterday (Tuesday) for the first time since May 19, 2008, as investors remain optimistic amid global economic unease.

The Dow gained 0.18%, or 23.61 points, to close just above the mark at 13005.12.

The Dow’s been flirting with a close above 13000 for a week now. The market has climbed despite concerns surrounding Greece as well as the continued U.S. economic recovery.

“Don’t forget that it’s absolutely possible to have the markets move independently of  the economy, and that’s what traders are banking on,” Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald told Stuart Varney on a Fox Business appearance last week.

The gain represents about a 25% increase since the Dow touched its 2011 low of 10404  in October. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (NYSEArca:SPY) is trading at its highest levels since June 2008, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:QQQ) is trading at its highest point since December 2000.

The Dow Closed Above 13000: What’s Next?

The  Dow at 13000 is only 8.9% from its all-time high of 14174.53, reached on  October 9, 2007. Now the question is if the Dow can ride investor momentum to  test its record.

 “People can see that the markets bounce back and are resilient over time,” Marc Scudillo, managing officer at EisnerAmper, told USA Today. “That’s a powerful  message.”

If  investors continue to hear positive economic reports, the Dow could test its  all-time high. A consumer confidence report released Tuesday morning helped  push the Dow over 13000 and keep it there most of the day. Consumer confidence in February hit its highest level in a year.

“Two months ago, we were talking about a double-dip recession. Now consumer  confidence is growing,” Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist for Schaffer’s  Investment Research, told USA Today. “A major milestone like  13,000 wakes up a lot of investors who have missed a lot of this rally.”

The Dow pushing through the psychological barrier of 13000 will likely help fuel  this rally – but investors could let concerns over higher oil and gas prices  disrupt a climb to 14000. Gas prices are headed for record highs this year, and oil could hit $200 a barrel.

But  soaring share prices for big blue chips like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)  are a powerful comfort for investors. Apple closed at a record high $535.41,  gaining 1.8%.
While  the Dow closed above 13000, the  S&P 500 closed up 4.59 points, or 0.34%, at 1372.18, and the Nasdaq closed up 21 points, or 0.7%, to 2987.

Related: Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX), Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC), SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca:SPY), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca:DIA).

 Written By Kerri Shannon From Money Morning

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