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The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to above 13,000 briefly today (Tuesday) for the first time since May 2008. Now investors wonder if the gain will last – and possibly soar even higher.
The Dow touched above 13,000 around 11:30 a.m., pulled back then crossed the line again just after noon.
The market has climbed despite concerns surrounding Greece as well as the continued U.S. economic recovery. The gain represents about a 25% increase since the Dow touched its 2011 low of 10,404 in October. The Dow at 13,000 is only 8.9% from its all-time high of 14,174.53, reached on October 9, 2007.
Now the question is if this gain has staying power – or if investors will be cautious and keep money parked to the side.
"Don't forget that it's absolutely possible to have the markets move independently of the economy, and that's what traders are banking on," Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald told Stuart Varney on a Fox Business appearance today (you can watch Fitz-Gerald on "Varney & Co." in the accompanying video). "There's a lot of money on the sidelines…. I'm not saying how much farther beyond [13,000] we'll get, but it's not unreasonable."
The Dow Hit 13,000: Greece a Huge Factor
Approval for another Greece bailout today was a key market catalyst.
Eurozone finance ministers agreed on a $173 billion (130 billion euros) aid package for the debt plagued country. Even though the solution isn't a permanent solution, Europe's financing efforts have been a bullish move for stocks.
Prior to the latest bailout, the Eurozone employed a Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO)..
The LTRO allows European banks to bring their loans to the table, turn them in with a small haircut, and receive cash/capital in return. It started in late 2011and raised about $500 billion in funds for the banks. The European Central Bank (ECB) is charging just 1% for these new funds, which are good for three years.
LTRO allows banks to deposit those long-term loans at the ECB and get back cash at a discount to help lower their risk levels. It injects money into the system and buffers banks from crisis effects – as well as buoys markets.
But recent market spikes won't be enough to push the Dow to its record high. The Eurozone resolutions are only temporary fixes, and the United States has a long way to go before housing and unemployment show sustainable improvement. Plus gasoline price continue heading for $4 a gallon.
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