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Dow Inching Closer to All-Time High

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow closed up 175.24 points Monday, bringing the index within 89 points, or less than one percent, from its all-time high set in October 2007. This is the closest the Dow has been to that high in more than five years.
Monday's close was also the Dow’s highest so far this year, at 14,075.37.
A set of decent economic news in the U.S. and Europe boosted markets. The Nasdaq Composite added 32.61 to close at 3,162.26.  The S&P finished the session at 1,515.99, adding 19.05 points.
The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose to the highest level since April 2010.  The increase points to more home sales in the coming months.
Orders for factory goods grew by the most in more than a year, suggesting companies are willing to invest some of their cash.
An Italian bond auction went better than expected, despite the political chaos there.
Finally, Ben Bernanke, in a second day of congressional testimony, reassured investors that the Fed will not abruptly end its stimulus.

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