Dow finishes above 12,000
Stocks rose despite jitters over protests in Egypt, where President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday he wouldn't seek re-election.
February 1st, 2011
09:21 PM ET

Dow finishes above 12,000

Some highlights from the day's business news:

Dow, S&P 500 close at highest levels in 2 years

U.S. stocks started February with a bang Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 closing above key psychological levels for the first time in more than two years, and the Nasdaq gaining almost 2%.

Investors overcame ongoing jitters over protests in Egypt and new developments in Jordan, where the king dismissed his government and appointed a new prime minister.

The Dow Jones industrial average rallied 148 points, or 1.3%, to finish at 12,040, the highest June 19, 2008. All but three of the 30 blue-chip components moved higher. A 5.5% jump in shares of Pfizer led the advance, with the drugmaker posting better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Alcoa and Bank of America were also big Dow gainers.

The S&P 500 added 21 points, or 1.7%, to close at 1,307, also the highest since June 2008. Shares of printer manufacturer Lexmark soared more than 13% following strong earnings and an upbeat forecast.

The Nasdaq gained 51 points, or 1.9%. Baidu was the tech-heavy index's big winner, with shares spiking more than 9%. China's main Internet search provider said its fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled from a year earlier, to $176 million.

Pressure builds for debt reduction

The push to come up with a plan to reduce national debt got a bipartisan bear hug in the Senate on Tuesday.

Three lawmakers who sat on President Obama's bipartisan debt commission - Sens. Kent Conrad, Tom Coburn and Mike Crapo - convened a meeting of more than 30 senators from both parties "to make sure everyone comes to consensus on how big the problem is and how real it is," Coburn told CNN.

Sen. Ron Wyden, who attended the meeting, said senators want to figure out a serious "down payment" on debt reduction and tackle one structural problem.

"I believe there is a sense that if you're going to turn this around and grow the economy, you're going to have to deal with one, major, long-term issue this year," he said. reporters Hibah Yousuf and Jeanne Sahadi and CNN congressional producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Business • Economy
soundoff (10 Responses)

    well that does it for me.. the stock market is safe again time to reinvest our nest eggs.. nothing could possibly go bad again.

    February 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    lmao u are truly the king of crap today aint ya?

    February 2, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    Let's leave out "...the king of..."

    February 2, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    RuffNutt/Chrissy, how about this one? In what movie did someone say, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    February 2, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Thatnutisrough

    he loves to dwell on the victim role..the evil empire is always at his doorstep. But if he wins big in the fox network stock gambles he will say it was hard work and he and his pick up truck and alimony "built the country" clearly he is a hero..among all the heros.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Veritas

    @Cesar Oooo oooo pick me (hand up) The Wizard of Oz

    February 2, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    @Veritas, you are.......correct!

    February 2, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Veritas

    Another positive sign that the President we voted in has our beloved country on the road to recovery. Deal with that rethugs/ peeparty! Thank you Mr.Obama!

    February 2, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. SmugAmerican

    So when does the trickle down happen? I'm still wearing a raincoat to avoid the yellow trickle from our corporate brethren.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    @SmugAmerican: That's right, Rubber Ducky.

    February 3, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |