Skeptics question how much longer the eight-year rally can continue. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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The Dow Jones industrial average is trading above 25,000 points for the first time Thursday, just five weeks since its first close above 24,000 . The Dow broke through five 1,000-point barriers in 2017, on its way to a 25 percent gain for the year, as an eight-year rally since the Great Recession continued to confound skeptics.Big gains in major U.S. blue chip companies over the past year have been powering the Dow's relentless rise to new heights, including an 87 percent gain in aerospace giant Boeing, a 69 percent rise in Caterpillar and a 49 percent increase in Apple.Technology companies and banks, which put up some of the biggest gains in the last year, continued to lead the market higher Thursday.The Dow, which tracks 30 big U.S. companies, was up 153 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,077 as of 11:43 a.m. Eastern Time. JPMorgan Chase gained $2.01, or 1.9 percent, to $109.51 and Wells Fargo rose $1.11, or 1.8 percent, to $62.67 .
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