Friday September 7, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) -- The last time the stock market was this high, the Great Recession was just getting started and stocks were pointed toward a head-first descent.

But on Thursday, the market moved swiftly in the other direction. The Stan dard & Poor’s 500 index soared to its highest level since January 2008, and the Dow Jones industrial average hit its highest mark since December 2007.

A concrete plan to support struggling countries in Europe provided the necessary jolt, and the gains were extraordinarily broad. European markets surged and U.S. Treasury bond prices dropped as traders sold low-risk investments. All but 13 stocks in the S&P 500 index rose.

"There’s just a sea of green," said JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief derivatives strategist. "It’s pretty fun."

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index soared 28.68 points to close at 1,432.12. The Dow jumped 244.52 to 13,292.

The Nasdaq also reached a milestone, gaining 66.54 points to 3,135.81. That’s its highest level in 12 years.


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