LONDON -- Optimism is once again rising, with hopes that the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) will finally beat its 52-week high of 5,989 points and perhaps even breach the 6,000 level that it hasn't seen since April 2011. Today it rose 0.4% to 5,936 on positive sentiment regarding the U.S. "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

A number of individual U.K. companies are achieving record share prices, too. Here are three trading close to their 52-week peaks.

Online fashion giant ASOS hit a new 12-month record of 2,619 pence yesterday and fell back a little to 2,580 pence today. The share price has been on the up since early November, with the company's Dec. 11 trading update -- which told us that sales in the quarter rose by 30% -- adding an extra boost.

The shares have now more than doubled this year, exceeding the levels set around the middle of 2011.

Dixons (LSE:DXNS)
Dixons Retail is still powering up, having hit yet another 52-week high of 28.4 pence today. The share price has almost tripled over the past 12 months, bringing a nice bit of pre-Christmas cheer to shareholders who, a year ago, may have rightfully given up hope.

Dixons has done a pretty good job of the turnaround. What we want next is sufficient progress to bring back decent dividend payments.

Reckitt Benckiser (LSE:RB) (NASDAQOTH:RBGLY)
A 28 billion pound FTSE 100 behemoth like consumer brand maestro Reckitt Benckiser is perhaps not the kind of company whose shares we'd normally expect to see galloping up by 28% over a year. But that's precisely what happened between the price's 52-week low of almost exactly a year ago and its peak of 3,987 pence on Dec. 10.

It has fallen back a little in the subsequent days, but today it crept up 0.46% to 3,938 pence.

Daily gains from shares can all play their part in making you your first million. But the real secret to becoming rich from shares is simple long-term investing in fundamentally sound companies and letting steady growth and dividends power your wealth upward. If you don't think making a million is feasible, read The Motley Fool's report "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" and see if you change your mind. The report won't cost you a penny, so click here to have a copy delivered to your inbox while it's still available.

Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.