Dow surges to record highs as rally continues

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 5, 2013. The Dow surged to a new record on Tuesday, breaking through levels last seen in 2007 as investors extended 2013's rally.
BRENDAN MCDERMID | REUTERS
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 5, 2013. The Dow surged to a new record on Tuesday, breaking through levels last seen in 2007 as investors extended 2013's rally.
Posted March 05, 2013, at 11:15 a.m.

NEW YORK — The storied Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to a new record on Tuesday, breaking through levels last seen in 2007 as investors extended 2013′s rally.

Investors have poured money into equities in 2013 as signs of economic recovery take hold. The Dow has gained more than 8 percent so far this year, ahead of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index.

If the Dow ends the day at these levels, it will also set a new record closing high, above 2007′s 14,164.53.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow rose above 14,198.10, the intraday all-time high reached in October 2007, when the world was heading toward the financial crisis.

“We have a pretty strong market, the economy seems to be taking advantage of a low interest rate environment. What happens when this QE3 kind of evaporates or goes away, that’s the major question in the back of my mind,” said Anthony Conroy, head trader at BNY ConvergEx, an affiliate of the Bank of New York.

“But right now, the economy, the market, everything looks fairly healthy. Stocks still look fairly inexpensive.”

Analysts said Tuesday’s advance was due less to one specific catalyst and more to the same factors that have been driving the rally this year, namely attractive valuations and liquidity from loose monetary policy around the world.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 129.77 points, or 0.92 percent, at 14,257.59. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 13.72 points, or 0.90 percent, at 1,538.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 33.12 points, or 1.04 percent, at 3,215.15.

Tech stocks jumped, pushing the Nasdaq up more than 1 percent. Qualcomm Inc was one of the biggest gainers, with shares up 2.3 percent at $68.15 after the world’s leading supplier of chips for cellphones said it was raising its quarterly cash dividend by 40 percent.

United Technologies Corp. was the biggest gainer on the Dow index, up 2.3 percent at $91.18, followed by Bank of America, up 1.8 percent at $11.61.

Stocks extended gains after data showed the pace of growth in the vast U.S. services sector accelerated to its fastest pace in a year in February.

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