NEW YORK (AP) -- The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 13,000 on Tuesday for the first time since May 2008, when the Lehman Brothers investment bank was solvent, unemployment a healthy 5.4 percent and the worst of the Great Recession months ahead.
The milestone came about two hours into the trading day. The stock market got the final push from strong corporate earnings reports and a Greek bailout deal intended to prevent the next financial crisis.
The average was above 13,000 for about 30 seconds before dropping back. It reclaimed the mark just after noon.
The Dow last closed above 13,000 on May 19, 2008. The next day, it crossed under 13,000, not to return for almost four years. The Dow fell as low as 6,547 on March 9, 2009. It has almost doubled since then.
The 13,000 level is a psychological milepost, but in a market built on perception, it could influence more cautious investors to pump more money back into the stock market, analysts said.
"You need notches along the way to measure things, and that's as good as any," said John Manley, chief equity strategist for Wells Fargo's funds group.