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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006, 20:23 GMT 21:23 UK
Dow Jones ends above 12,000 level
The trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange
The Dow has been buoyed by a number of factors
The Dow Jones index of major US shares has closed above the landmark 12,000 level for the first time.

Boosted by falling US inflation, oil and petrol prices, and a number of positive corporate earnings reports, it ended Thursday up 19 points to 12,012.

With investor sentiment upbeat, the Dow had already set record closing highs eight times during the past two weeks.

The Dow, whose stocks include IBM and Microsoft, took just seven and half months to move from 11,000 to 12,000.

'Symbolic'

Cola-Cola was one of the firms that most helped the Dow break the 12,000 mark on Thursday.

The soft drink giant saw its shares rise 2.2% after its latest quarterly profits beat market expectations, driven by demand in developing markets.

Analysts broadly welcomed the Dow's historic close, but some said they wished its large gains would spread to the other two main Wall Street share indexes - the Nasdaq and the Standard & Poor's 500 - which have lagged behind.

"The Dow breaking 12,000 is more of a symbolic passage than a meaningful new high," said Eric Thorne, a portfolio manager with Bryn Mawr Trust.

"It signifies a good strong market, but it's a fairly narrow index, and we would prefer to see the rally broaden out."

Graph showing the movement of the Dow Jones index over the past decade




MARKET DATA - 11:36 UK

FTSE 100
5429.64up
23.70 0.44%
Dax
5733.05up
19.54 0.34%
Cac 40
3784.02up
14.48 0.38%
Dow Jones
10403.79up
78.53 0.76%
Nasdaq
2273.57up
35.31 1.58%
S&P 500
1115.71up
11.22 1.02%
BBC Global 30
5707.15up
20.65 0.36%
Data delayed by at least 15 minutes


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