Dow crosses 12,000 for first time
NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average briefly swept past 12,000 for the first time Wednesday, extending its march into record territory as investors grow increasingly optimistic about corporate earnings and the economy. The blue chip average rose to a new closing high, but fell just short of the 12,000 mark. The index of 30 big-name stocks surpassed the milestone just after trading began, rising as high as 12,049.51, before pulling back as the market's initial wave of enthusiasm dissipated and investors cashed in some of their gains. The fact that the markets didn't barrel higher shows some healthy caution particularly given that many companies have yet to report third-quarter results. According to preliminary figures, the Dow closed up 42.66, or 0.36%, at 11,992.68. Broader stock indicators were mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 1.91, or 0.14%, at 1,365.96, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 7.80, or 0.33%, to 2,337.15.