Dow Approaches Highest Level Since 2008 Crisis

By: AP
By: AP
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(AP) - The Dow Jones industrial average is trading near its highest close since the financial crisis. Solid news on factory orders and strong earnings reports from U.S. manufacturers are helping the market at midday.

Broader indexes are edging lower, but they're still much higher for the week and the month.

The government said early Thursday that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose for a second straight month in December. 3M stock is up 1.5 percent and Caterpillar 3 percent after each big manufacturer reported quarterly profits that exceeded analysts' expectations.

The Dow is up 26 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,782 shortly before noon. That's less than 30 points below its post-crisis closing high.

The S&P 500 is down three at 1,323. The Nasdaq is down six at 2,812.

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