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Dow Cracks 10,000 Mark

Wall Street reached one of the most significant milestones of its recovery from the bear market Tuesday, as the Dow Jones industrials crossed 10,000 for the first time in 18 months.

Stocks moved higher as upbeat investors picked up shares on bets the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for some time, but gave back some of the gains to profit-taking.

The index of 30 blue chip stocks moved past the milestone shortly after trading began. It was the first time since May 31, 2002, that the Dow had been above 10,000, and marked a solid comeback from the five-year low of 7,286.27 the Dow fell to on Oct. 9, 2002.

A cheer went up on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to greet the Dow's achievement Tuesday, an expression of traders' relief that Wall Street has maintained its upward path. Last week, the Nasdaq composite
index crossed 2,000 for the first time in nearly two years.

"This rally is coincident with the fact the market had a stellar performance this year, because it correctly predicted the recovery in the economy," said Joseph V. Battipaglia, chief investment officer at Ryan Beck & Co.

The Dow pushed up 37.85 to hit 10,003.12 before salipping back below the 10,000 mark.

Stocks have pushed higher in recent weeks on investor expectations for a stronger economy. But analysts wonder if the market might be due for some pullbacks or sideways trading, citing somewhat high share valuations.

"What would be more significant is if we move from these levels to meaningfully higher ground - 3 to 5 percent over the next several months," Battipaglia said. "If we indeed go there, Dow 10,000 will be a very happy moment in time."

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