Dow Jones closes above 12,000 for first time since 2008
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 148.23 points at 12,040.16, the first time it ended a trading above 12,000 since just before the financial crisis in June 2008. Bank stocks were up nearly across the board. Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), and Wells Fargo (WFC) all showed gains days after turmoil in the Middle East sent stocks tumbling. Nearly all of the major lenders reported improved 2010 earnings from the year before, though BofA saw a loss in the fourth quarter on mortgage repurchase and warranty settlements with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A blog post on The Wall Street Journal gives some facts about the milestone and tempers calls of a recovery. The Dow remains 15% below the closing record of 14,164.53 set in October 2007. Even public mortgage companies gained on the day. Invesco Mortgage Capital (IVR), a real estate investment trust, gained 1.5%. Mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN) and data and loss-mitigation providers Lender Processing Services (LPS) and CoreLogic (CLGX) also showed gains. Write to Jon Prior.