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Dow Jones Industrial Average Tops 12,000

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As snow piles up on Wall Street, traders are noting January 26 as a special "big round number day."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average – a measure of the value of 30 of the nation's biggest stocks – passed the 12,000 mark for the first time since a sunny summer day in 2008.

At 10:15 a.m., the big board showed the Dow crossing the 12K mark as positive news about new home sales and unemployment claims pushed traders into a buying mood. Investors have not seen the milestone number on the big board since June 17, 2008.

While it's nice to see the number bouncing back to this level, investors are still suffering the effects of the financial crisis. The Dow's importance is in practical terms just mental. It is still 18 percent below its all-time high close of 14,164.53 set back in October 2007.

But think how far we have come. During the heat of the financial crisis, the Dow bottomed out at around 6,547 in early March 2009. Since then we've seen the Dow jump by 83 percent as the crisis passed and the economy has started to get its footing. 

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