As you've probably heard by now, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) broke its all-time record today, and the blue chips did it with a bang, gaining 126 points, or 0.9%, to finish at 14,254. The Dow shattered both the closing record of 14,164 and its all-time intraday high of 14.198, which it eclipsed just after opening. The index reached an intraday high of 14,286 today.
Momentum out of Europe pushed the Dow higher early in the morning as the German DAX gained more than 2.3%, and European stocks set a high-water mark of their own, reaching a level not seen in four and a half years. Retail sales in Europe were stronger than expected, and the continuing optimism in American financial markets helped drive stocks higher across the Atlantic. More good news came in the form of a strong ISM services report, whose index hit 56 in February, a slight gain over January's 55.2 reading, and better than the market's expectations of 55.2.
Nearly every stock on the blue chips gained today. Boeing (NYSE:BA) was one of the biggest movers, climbing 2% to a new 52-week high as the aircraft maker scored a $1 billion order from Cathay Pacific for three 747-8 Freighter airplanes. Still, the company was struggling with problems from its Dreamliner jets as the Polish airline LOT demanded compensation for the grounded jets, and the British company Thomson Airways said it would reimburse customers who had paid to fly the Dreamliner starting in May. Shares were down nearly 1% after hours, however, as the FAA still appears to be several steps from approving the 787s for flight again.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) was the Dow's biggest loser of the day, falling 0.4%, apparently in response to news that competition from Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) may be heating up as that company acquired the rights to distribute Snapple in Asia and other beverages in Australia from Mondelez.
Will the Dow move higher?
Despite concerns about sequestration, the European debt crisis, and China's slowing growth, there are plenty of reasons to believe in the bull market. Treasury yields are still incredibly low, meaning there's a lot of money potentially waiting to get back into equities, and corporate profits continue to improve with housing and employment numbers promising a steady recovery. With the Feburary employment report due out Friday, strong jobs numbers could fuel another rally before week's end.
Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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