S&P 500 closes above 2,000 for first time

What a difference 0.02 points can make.

After flirting with the 2,000 point milestone, the benchmark index closed above that level for the first time ever by just a nose -- 2000.02 to be exact.

It's been 16 years since the index closed above 1,000 points for the first time.

Stocks moved higher Tuesday after some encouraging news, including a surge in consumer confidence. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 29 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,106. The Dow is 32 points shy of its own record closing high set July 16. The Nasdaq rose 13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,570. The Nasdaq is still well below its dot-com era record.

Bond prices were flat. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held at 2.40 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index, which was launched in 1957, has risen 8.2 percent this year. It has gone without a correction, which is defined on Wall Street as a drop of 10 percent or more, for close to three years. These are some of the recent milestones for the S&P 500:

-- Feb. 2, 1998 - The index closes above 1,000 for the first time, driven by optimism that financial markets are stabilizing as a financial crisis in Asia passes.

-- Oct. 9, 2007 - The S&P 500 closes at an all-time high of 1,565.15. Traders and investors speculate that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates to help a U.S. economy threatened by signs of an emerging credit crisis. The October record stands for five and a half years as the stock market loses more than half of its value in the financial crisis and Great Recession that follow. The index bottoms out at 676.53 in March 2009.

-- March 28, 2013 - The index closes at 1,569.19, eclipsing its record close from 2007. Investors are encouraged by rising company earnings and feel more confident that the U.S. economic recovery can endure, despite a series of crises in the U.S. and overseas.

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