In this Jan. 25, 2011 photo, trader Luigi Muccitelli, left, and specialist Donald Civitanova work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Updated: February 28, 2011 12:21AM
The Dow Jones industrial average broke through 12,000 for the first time in two and a half years Wednesday, but a late fade kept it from closing above that level.
The index of 30 prominent U.S. companies finished the day up 8.25 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 11,985.4. It reached as high as 12,020 in morning trading. The last time the Dow closed above 12,000 was June 19, 2008, just as the financial crisis was worsening.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose 5.45, or 0.4 percent, to 1,296.63. The Nasdaq composite index jumped 20.25, or 0.7 percent, to 2,739.50.
Investors were pleased with President Obama’s calls for lower tax rates on businesses during the State of the Union address late Tuesday, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago. “If he can take steps to simplify the tax codes, be it for individuals or corporations, I think it would be a lot easier to do business,” Ablin said.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday afternoon that it was not making any changes to its $600 billion bond-buying program. The plan is meant to encourage borrowing by keeping interest rates low.