US stocks surge, Dow Jones index reaches record

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at a new record high of 13,861.73 as United States stock markets rose sharply. This is the first time the Dow got above 13,700. Today's 2.1% rally is the index' largest single-day percentage gain in nearly four years.

Analysts cite earnings reports that exceeded forecasts as a catalyst for the buying spree. Most notably, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest private employer and retailer, which reported that same-store sales increased by 2.4%.

"Consumer are still spending so that was something for people to hang their hats on," said Hugh Moore of Guerite Advisors, when explaining the rally.

Another contributing factor is being reported to be the announced acquisition of Canadian aluminum company Alcan Inc. for US$38.1 billion by multinational mining company Rio Tinto Group. This led to speculation, it is said, that Alcoa Inc., the leading aluminum producer in the US, may soon be the target of a take-over.

Other benchmark indices also posted major gains today. The S&P 500 Index climbed 28.94 to 1,547.70, also a record high. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 49.94 to close at 2,701.73, the highest since March of 2001.

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