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Dow Jones Index Closes Above 16,000 For First Time

For the first time in its history, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 points Thursday. The index of 30 stocks touched the mark earlier this week, when a trader was photographed at the New York Stock Exchange.
Andrew Burton
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For the first time in its history, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 points Thursday. The index of 30 stocks touched the mark earlier this week, when a trader was photographed at the New York Stock Exchange.

The Dow Jones industrial average tacked on 109 points Thursday for a gain of less than 1 percent. But the small rise brought a big milestone, as the industrial index closed above 16,000 for the first time in its history. The index had touched the mark earlier this week but fell short by the day's end.

Today, the Dow closed at 16,009.99.

The historic moment for the benchmark index that tracks 30 leading U.S. companies came on a day that began with positive economic news.

Jobless claims fell by 21,000 last week and wholesale prices fell 0.2 percent, as Mark reported for The Two-Way earlier today.

The Treasury also said it would sell millions of shares in GM, propelling the carmaker's stock to a 1.1 percent gain, according to Bloomberg.

Investors may also have been further reassured by the Senate Banking Committee's vote to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.