Dow Crosses 13,000 For First Time Since May '08 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Dow Crosses 13,000 For First Time Since May '08

MSNBC.COM - U.S. stocks moved higher in a choppy session Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average moving above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008.

The rise to the key psychological level caps a strong stock market rally over the past few months. The broad S&P 500 stock index is up 8 percent for the year.

The 13,000 level doesn't hold a great deal of significance to market analysts, but "it's nice to see a symbolic number," Art Cashin, UBS director of floor operations, told CNBC.

The Dow last moved above 13,000 on an intra-day basis on May 20, 2008. It last closed above that level on May 19, 2008.

Market sentiment was boosted by news that euro zone finance ministers secured a deal that will enable Greece to avoid a March default.

A deal on the 130 billion euro ($172.47 billion) bailout was reached after Greece was forced to accept unpopular fiscal measures, and private bondholders agreed to steeper losses.

Analysts said the deal was already priced into the market, which showed a muted response as initial optimism waned on questions about Greece's dismal economic outlook.

"We've had a very strong market of late, partly driven by expectations of a Greek deal. Now that we have it, the market will look for a near-term driver," said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.

"Any pullbacks will be looked at as potential entry opportunities as investors, in many cases, are underperforming the benchmark S&P 500. As the market keeps impressing, market short-players will be forced to reconsider the macro bets they've made, and thus a run to cover could propel another upside surge."

Apple Inc edged up after the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled the iPhone maker did not infringe patented technology owned by Android phonemaker HTC Corp.

Separately, a Chinese court will deliberate on a request by troubled technology company Proview to halt the sale of iPads in Shanghai.

Home Depot Inc climbed after the home improvement retailer's quarterly profit beat estimates.

Kraft Foods Inc edged down after the maker of Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate and Oscar Meyer meats reported higher earnings that met expectations.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc dropped after it said it earned $1.51 per share from continuing operations in the fourth quarter versus its forecast of $1.42 to $1.48 per share.

Separately, Wal-Mart said it was taking a controlling stake in a Chinese e-commerce firm as it sought new revenue sources to fend off rising competition in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Dell Inc was due to report results later Tuesday.

Dutch group TNT Express, which rejected a 4.9 billion euro ($6.5 billion) takeover offer from United Parcel Service Inc, will focus on its European business and look for buyers or partners for troubled units in Brazil and China. Investors are betting UPS will raise its offer or rival FedEx Corp may enter the fray.

U.S. engineer URS Corp will buy Canadian oilfield services company Flint Energy Services Ltd for C$1.25 billion ($1.25 billion) to expand its presence in the oil and gas sector.

Futures exchange operator CME Group Inc and an Omani sovereign fund boosted their stake in the Dubai Mercantile Exchange after a cash infusion on Tuesday.

AES Corp, the first U.S. power producer to enter China about two decades ago, is looking to sell all or some assets there, sources said.

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