Dow has first close above 12,000 in 2 1/2 years

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 12,000 for the first time in 2 1/2 years — yet another sign that the economy is extending its recovery from the recession.

Another big stock market index, the Standard & Poor’s 500, reached a milestone of its own Tuesday. It closed above 1,300.

Investors found plenty of reasons to send stocks sharply higher. Earnings reports from companies including Pfizer, UPS and Archer Daniels Midland were better than expected. And manufacturing had another good month in January.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow, which fell to a low of 6,547 in March 2009, soared 148 points, or 1.3 percent, Tuesday to 12,040.16.

The S&P 500 rose 21, or 1.7 percent, to 1,307.59, its first close above 1,300 since August 2008.

The Nasdaq rose 51, or 1.9 percent, to 2,751.19

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange came to 1.1 billion shares. Five stocks rose for every one that fell.