Authors: Joshua Cohan
(NEW YORK) -- The Dow Jones industrial average closed up Tuesday after hitting the intra-day high of 13,000 for the first time since May 2008. The stock index is at a nearly four-year high, closing just under 13,000.
The Dow closed at 12,967, up 0.13 percent, while the S&P 500 closed at 1,362, up 0.08 percent.
Paul Larson, chief equities strategist for investment firm Morningstar, said the 13,000 mark was an arbitrary number without much intrinsic value to the markets. Still, it is twice the intra-day market low of 6,440 at the height of the recession on March 9, 2009.
The Dow opened the morning at 12,980 while the S&P 500 opened to 1,364, which was that index's highest close since 2008. The Dow Jones industrial average closed Friday at 12,950, up 0.35 percent, and the S&P 500 closed at 1,361.
With European finance ministers agreeing to a new bailout package for Greece, all eyes were watching whether the Dow would pass the psychological threshold of 13,000 after being closed Monday in honor of Presidents Day. The index briefly passed the mark shortly before 11:30 a.m. ET before returning to about 12,995.
"There's nothing magical about the 13,000 level, but it could help boost investor sentiment to some extent," Scott Brown, an economist with Raymond James, said.
Early Tuesday morning, eurozone finance ministers finished seven months of deliberating in Brussels and agreed to a bailout plan for Greece of 130 billion euros, or about $171.5 billion, its second in three years. Martin Koehring, an economist for the Economist Intelligence Unit, said that without the bailout, Greece faced the prospect of defaulting on a 14.5 billion euro, or about $19.1 billion, bond redemption due by March 20.
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