As reported by Steve Schaefer of Forbes Staff, U.S. exchanges are closed Monday to observe President’s Day, giving the Street an extra off day as European finance ministers negotiate the latest Greek bailout and the Dow Jones industrial average flirts with a nice round number it has not seen since May 2008.
The 30-stock Dow closed at 12,950 Friday, with a 46-point gain that put it within striking distance of the 13,000 level, which could come from a quick march higher Tuesday if Greece locks up its sorely needed bailout.
A €130 billion package being discussed would go toward recapitalizing banks, making a big bond coupon payment due in mid-March and funding the government’s day-to-day operations, and mark the latest bid to give Europe’s debt crisis a longer runway. Another effort to that end, the European Central Bank’s next offering of low-rate three-year loans for banks, is scheduled for Feb. 29.
The Dow’s rally this year has not been unaccompanied by its fellow indexes. The S&P 500 gained 3 points Friday to 1,361, and is up 8.2% on the year to the Dow’s 6%, while the Nasdaq is the year-to-date leader with a 13.3% gain despite Friday’s 8-point dip to 2,952.