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Dow Jones industrials climb above 25,000 for first time

January 4, 2018

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 25,000 points for the first time, just five weeks after its first close above 24,000.

Technology companies, which put up some of the biggest gains in the last year, continued to outpace the rest of the market Thursday.

Banks were benefiting from higher bond yields, which allow them to charge higher interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans.

Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo all posted solid gains.

The Dow increased 152 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,075.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,723.

The NASDAQ composite climbed 12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,077.

The Dow broke past 1,000-point barriers in 2017 on its way to a 25 percent gain for the year, as an eight-year rally since the Great Recession continued to confound skeptics.

Strong global economic growth and good prospects for higher company earnings have analysts predicting more gains, although the market may not stay as calm as it has been recently.

The Dow has made a rapid trip from 24,000 points on November 30, partly on enthusiasm over passage of the Republican-backed tax package, which could boost company profits this year with across-the-board cuts to corporate taxes.

"For a long while in 2017 I would say the biggest driver was excitement and anticipation over tax reform, but at a certain point I think there was a handover to global economic growth really helping to carry the stock market," said Invesco Chief Global Markets Strategist Kristina Hooper.

Big gains in U.S. blue chip companies have powered the Dow's relentless rise to new heights over the past year, including an 87 percent gain in aerospace giant Boeing, a 70 percent rise in construction equipment maker Caterpillar and a 49 percent increase in Apple.

The Dow, which was founded in 1896 and is the oldest barometer of the U.S. stock market, has nearly quadrupled in value from its low during the financial crisis in early 2009. But the global economy and spending by people and businesses and governments were much slower to recover than stocks were.

"Instead of fiscal stimulus, we relied on monetary policy stimulus, which inflates asset prices as opposed to the overall economy," Hooper said. Stocks have continued to climb as investors saw signs economic growth was finally improving.

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