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The New York Stock Exchange celebrated today as the Dow Jones industrial average edged above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008. (Getty Images)
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The index is considered an important indicator of the confidence of US investors.
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The 45-month high was driven by upbeat economic news in the US and despite the uncertainty about a long-term solution to the eurozone crisis.
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European markets are still cautious over the developments of Greece's second bailout.
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The average of 30 major US stocks was pushed up after being closed for the President Day holiday, following a run of better than expected company results and economic data.
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There were signs of anxiety in other markets as the price of Brent crude, which is used to price foreign oil imported into the US, rose by 55 cents to $120.60.
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Former first lady Laura Bush rang the opening bell on behalf of the The Bush Institute Women's Initiative Fellowship Program. Mrs. Bush was joined by 14 female Egyptian Fellows of the institute, a leadership exchange program that engages women from around the world, with an initial focus on women the Middle East.